The Jesus You Can Know

Guidelines for Living Daily Devotional

October 11, 2019

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.  Hebrews 1:1-2

The Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman once stood before a painting of Christ which hung in a cathedral in Europe.  As he gazed intently at the painting, He whispered, "Speak to me!"  But there was only silence, so goes the story.

A former KGB operative in Ukraine told me that it was reported that the founder of a monastery, who died several hundred years ago, said that if people would go to his grave and sit there, he would communicate with them.  This man was an atheist.  He was also the KGB agent in charge of this very monastery.  To satisfy his curiosity in the dead of winter he went to the grave where the old monk had been buried.  For four long hours, in bitter cold weather, with snow on the ground, he sat on the grave.

According to his testimony, two things happened that afternoon: First he got very, very cold.  And did he hear from this old saint who was buried there?  No.  But he seemed to hear a quiet voice within that said, "You don't have to seek guidance from a dead saint.  I will be the one who will guide you."

He believed that this was Jesus Christ speaking to him, much as Paul heard the voice of the risen Lord on the way to Damascus.  If a changed life is evidence of what happened, then I would put this one in the “valid” category.  The former KGB operative abandoned his atheism, finished a theological education, and embarked on a career of synthesizing the Bible and science.

About a generation after the ascension, the writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews confronted the very issue of how God speaks to us.  He wrote, "Long ago God spoke in many different ways to our fathers through the prophets [in visions, dreams, and even face to face], telling them little by little about his plans.  But now in these days he has spoken to us through his Son, to whom he has given everything and through whom he made the world and everything there is" (Hebrews 1:1,2, Living Bible).

When Jesus was here in the flesh, He told His followers, "If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own" (John 7:17).  I take this to be His promise as He says, "If you serious about wanting to know who I am, I will reveal this to you!"

And what's the best way to find out?  Go to a cathedral, as did Ingmar Bergman, and command the painting of Christ to speak?  Go to the grave of a dead saint somewhere and wait for some sign, some voice?  Fast and pray until you see handwriting on the wall?

The best way to discover who Jesus Christ is is through the pages of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John -- four accurate witnesses to the events of the first century.  Matthew was a minor tax official when Jesus walked by one day and called him to follow Him. His experiences are first-hand. Mark was son of Mary, and cousin of Barnabas, who grew up in Jerusalem.  The early church met in his mother's home.  His point of view is like the click of a camera shutter as he described event after event.   Luke was a Syrian physician whose organized and precise information came from eyewitnesses.  And John, the youngest disciple, was an eyewitness.  He describes himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, something claimed by no other person.

The reality is that millions of people have found that they can know Jesus Christ as a living, vibrant person--not a dead Christ, buried in a Palestinian tomb.  You will find as you search for Him, He will find you. You can know for yourself.

Resource reading:  John 1:1-14


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