Jn.4:29 - Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
I have seen much in this life with my optic nerve. I have seen people killed right before my very eyes, and I have seen acts of terrible violence. I have seen the horrific results of child abuse. I have seen abject poverty in foreign lands. I have held the hands of AIDS sufferers and watched them slip into death. I have seen girls selling their bodies on the street, and I have seen major drug deals. I have witnessed several child births. I watched my own mother take her last breath at forty-four years of age. And through the medium of television and movies, I have seen amazing things.
But this woman who met Jesus at a well, beckoned others to “Come and see” the man she knew was the Messiah. No one who has “seen” the Lord Jesus can ever be the same. The night I met Jesus personally and with the eyes of faith was the greatest experience of my entire life. It was a night filled with wonder, amazement, and a tangible sense of eternity. How can I communicate to others what it means to see Jesus when I myself will never fully understand it? My optic nerve has never seen Him, but my spirit has seen Him many, many times.
I know this sounds spooky and mystical to some, even to some who have been born again. But I assure you, I am not attempting to be melodramatic and I certainly do not desire to present myself as some lofty prophet whose spiritual experiences are unique and elevate me personally above others who are believers in the Lord Jesus. But what I am saying is that there is more to the Christian life than just a set of doctrines and a perfunctory and redundant lifestyle which is difficult to distinguish from those who do not claim to know Christ. Among the sound doctrines which are laid out in Scripture, there is also a profound mystery which contains a vast reservoir of opportunities to encounter the Risen Christ in ways that make those doctrines living experiences.
There is nothing more sacred than meeting and seeing the Lord Jesus Christ. It must grieve the heart of God when he sees how the church in large part has abandoned the secret life in the Spirit and embraced the pragmatism that is designed to benefit the outer man. We have transitioned away from the unfathomable treasures of knowing Him in the secret place of the Most High. And in its place we have constructed a religious system that is consumed with structure, activities, human fellowship, and the weight of debt ridden brick and mortar.
Oh but He is real and alive! Jesus is not just some Biblical figure who is imprisoned by the written words of Scripture, and encountering Him is more than just learning about Him. The Scriptures, so to speak, give us the boundaries which reveal and define Him to even the most shallow reader. But to actually know Him in the Spirit can only be discovered through a journey of worship and sacrifice. Do not expect to find the Lord Jesus revealing Himself to the casual journeyman whose self consuming earthly journey is by far his greatest priority. And do not confuse doctrinal purity with spiritual intimacy.
But to him who diligently seeks Him with his whole heart, to him will be granted an entrance into a wealth of treasures found only in relationship with and revelation of Him. And once you have touched the hem of His garment then you cannot ever be satisfied with the run of the mill church membership existence. “For me to live is Christ” is more than some New Testament slogan, and more than a poetic metaphor. And when Paul states the desire to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings”, he must be suggesting that there is much more than just believing the doctrines of the cross and resurrection. And Paul had seen and met the Lord Jesus face to face, and Paul had been given the very gospel by the Lord Jesus Himself. And yet Paul says, “That I may know Him”.
How long will we be content with knowing all about Him? Did you encounter the Risen Christ this very day? Yes, you were changed when you became a believer, but were you changed today? I realize our lives are busy, but therein lies the very point of it all. Are you willing to take an uncomfortable inventory of your life and make the sacrifices necessary to pursue a genuine and sacred relationship with Christ? Do you have an unquenchable desire to see, experience, and know the Lord Jesus in ways that soar far above reciting some creed or nodding when asked about some orthodox doctrine of the faith?
The hourglass continues to faithfully exchange its sand particles, and the days are indeed evil. Have you or I wasted enough time, and are we willing to dramatically alter the present course of least resistance? We can be assured of this fact: Jesus desires to meet with us and to draw you into a deeper and more intimate knowledge of Himself. That in and of itself should spur us on to make time with Him a priority. One genuine moment in God’s presence is better than a thousand in the presence of earthly leaders.
Would we dare lay out our entire lives and invite the Spirit to identify those things which displease God and those things which please God but are missing? And do we dare take for granted a Holy God who desires to spend intimate time with His creation? And dare we compare the temporal thrills of this fallen world with the surpassing glory of the Redeemer’s awesome presence? It is way past time that we revisit what it means to be a following believer of the Lord Jesus Christ and the observable lifestyle manifestations of such a claim, to say nothing of a dramatic change of the heart.
Come and see this God/man whose name is above all else. Turn away from this world and recline under the brilliant flames of the Burning Bush. Recall the stripes, recall the thorns; recall the cross; recall the blood; recall the resurrection; and if you can fathom even a small part of such magnificent redemption, then humbly enter into the Holy of Holies and worship with your all in all Him who is all in all.