More words about Jesus are only helpful if they bring us to an experience of him.
Jesus came to reveal God to us. He is the defining word on God—what the heart of God is like, what he is up to in the world, and what he is up to in your life. An intimate encounter with Jesus is the most transforming experience of human existence. Not the religious guy in white robe and sandals. The Jesus who gave us oceans and rivers, beauty and laughter, sunlight and sex. The Jesus who served up 180 gallons of wine late into a wedding reception in Cana.
To know Jesus intimately, as he is, as he wants to be known, is to release a redemptive landslide in your life. The first purpose of your existence will be resolved, and from there you are set to fulfill all God’s other purposes for you.
Sadly, tragically, there are millions who have only heard of the religious Jesus and turned away in boredom. (We don’t blame them.) There are millions who try to relate to Jesus but experience him only occasionally, rarely knowing the joy of hearing his voice, feeling his presence, receiving his powerful, healing love.
Thus George MacDonald, that old Scottish prophet asks, “How have we learned Christ? It ought to be a startling thought, that we may have learned him wrong.” It is a startling thought. “That must be far worse than not to have learned him at all: his place is occupied by a false Christ, hard to exorcise!” Hard to exorcise indeed, because religion gives the impression of having Christ, while it inoculates you from experiencing the real thing.
We don’t need more speculation or debate. We need Jesus, himself. And you can have him. Really. You can experience Jesus, intimately. You were meant to. For despite the vandalizing of Jesus both by religion and the world, he is still alive and very much himself—playful, honest, scandalous, kind, and utterly true.
You can experience this Jesus intimately, daily, in these very ways. You can know the comfort of his actual presence, hear his voice speaking to you, receive healing of your brokenness. You can live as he did.
This is why we pray,
Jesus, show me who you really are. I pray for the true you. I want the real you. I ask you for you. Spirit of God, free me in every way to know Jesus as he really is. Open my eyes to see him. Deliver me from everything false about Jesus, and bring me what is true.