Jesus turns to Philip well into His third year of ministry and relationship with this disciple and states, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know Me, Philip?” (John 14:9). I believe Jesus might still be able to say this to many of His followers and disciples today. Many Christians have asked Jesus to be their Savior but have not discovered what it means to have Him as their Lord and thus don’t really know the real Jesus. Many have accepted the image of Jesus presented by the church or religious denomination that they attend – without question and without examining the Scriptures and discovering the real Jesus for themselves. So, they too don’t really know Him. Many have simply not taken the time or spent the energy needed to come to know Him as they should.
Over the past several years I have been on a journey of disassembling my understanding of and impression of who Jesus is and discovering and building a corrected, improved, biblical, and much bigger picture of the Jesus I have been following for 38 years. Reading slowly through the New Testament and especially the four Gospels I have been allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal more and more of the real Jesus. Afterall, this is His work here on the earth – to glorify Jesus. It has been an amazing journey and it is far from over… In fact, I hope it never ends as there is always much more to discover and know about Jesus.
Before you can see the real Jesus you have to prepared to dismantle anything and everything that prevents you from starting the journey. It is not an easy journey and it is one that will make you feel insecure and somewhat vulnerable as your understanding of Jesus is demolished and you sift through the rubble looking for anything familiar and ‘safe’ that you can grab hold of to feel secure. You find nothing. However, as we see in the book of Jeremiah the process of uprooting, tearing down, and removing must come before the season of planting and building (Jeremiah 1). A uncertain and sometimes frightening time but one that is absolutely essential. Then, one the ‘good old plastic Jesus’ has been revealed for what it is then the great adventure of discovering the real jesus can begin. And what an adventure.
Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:4 about “another Jesus” and this is what many are following and believing in. A god made in their own image. A Jesus who gives lots and demands little. A Jesus who winks at sin. A Jesus who is powerless to change the world or even the believer. So, we settle for someone or something much less than the radical revolutionary that Jesus really was and is.
Jesus invites you to join Him as He transforms the world one person at a time. Spend time coming to know the real Jesus and as you do you will also come to know your heavenly Father much better. If you have seen Jesus you have seen the Father who sent Him. Once you know the real Jesus – even just a bit – you will walk in greater faith and will join Him in His task of transforming the spiritual darkness into brilliant light as you walk in His presence and His power.
Settle for nothing less!
Two books that might help you AFTER you have spent a great deal of time soaking in the Scriptures:
“Simply Jesus” by N.T. Wright and “Jesus – A Theography” by Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola