Have you ever wondered what it must have been like to gaze into the eyes of Jesus, to hear His voice teaching God’s truth, maybe have Him touch your arm? Can you imagine? Years ago I had the privilege of being in Jerusalem for a week and I was able to go to the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives, places where Jesus walked on this earth. So many times when I read God’s Word, that vital connection with Jesus is what I seek. To be in His presence, to worship Him for who He is and what He did.
When it came time to add an additional Apostle to the twelve because of Judas, Peter said that they needed to pick someone who had been with them from the very beginning and that beginning reference point was John the Baptist (Acts 1:22). So when Jesus called the Apostles to follow Him, and they stopped doing what they were doing and began to follow Him, that command by Jesus to “Follow me” was special, and it must have been, because they did follow Him.
Jesus ministered for approximately three years. Can you imagine what the Apostles saw and heard during the three years? Everything that Jesus said and everything that Jesus did is not recorded in the New Testament (John 20:30) (John 21:25). They walked with Him, ate with Him, slept with Him in their company. They saw Him perform many miracles, (deliverances, people healed, walk on water, people raised from the dead, food multiplied etc) and heard Him teach often. Three years is not a short period of time. If you are with someone constantly for three years, you would really get to know them. And they loved Jesus and He loved them.
I can’t imagine what went through the Apostles and disciples minds when they saw Jesus crucified and die on the cross. Jesus had told them what would happen and we know it did happen but they didn’t have hindsight like we do. And then of course, the resurrection. Once again, I can’t imagine their joy, they would have been besides themselves and they were. I try to put myself in their shoes and I would be giddy, ecstatic. Everything came together when Jesus was resurrected from the dead. It would have been hard to grasp. Can you imagine? Jesus appeared to them multiple times over a period of 40 days. They touched him, ate with Him, were taught by Him. I think I would have had a hard time listening. And then they witnessed Jesus ascend into Heaven. Can you imagine them looking up into the sky as Jesus ascended out of their sight?
And then the promise of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:16 “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
When I speak with people about our Lord, I try to be mindful of what draws me to Jesus. Questions with answers are good, absolutely necessary, but it goes beyond that. It is a relationship with God our Heavenly Father, made possible through Jesus the Son of the living God and empowered by His Holy Spirit, one that constantly grows, one that makes your heart swell with adoration and gratitude and love. God’s Word helps me maintain that relationship. It’s like any relationship, it takes work, you’re either building it, maintaining it or letting it get chipped away. And the outward root of that relationship is love, love given to us and love given from us to others. Giving encouragement, helping, doing what you can whenever you can for others. The fruit of the Spirit. Gently.
John 20:29 says “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
No, I haven’t seen Jesus but someday I will. I am so unworthy but Jesus saved me. And not just me but so many many others. And I am grateful for that also. As long as I draw breath I will never understand it all but I don’t care. If you’re waiting for all of the answers to all of the questions before you decide to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, you will never get them. There’s more than enough evidence. Always has been.
If you really want to learn to swim, at some point in time you have to jump into the pool. I think this is a valid statement. You can analyze the pool, study the validity of being able to swim in water but at some point it time, you do have to jump into the pool. It’s that jump of faith. You don’t instantly learn how to swim, it’s progressive, you get better at it as you learn and practise. But you can, and you will, if you try.
Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”