Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Knowing Jesus

I am not going to read the rabbi's book, but there is a meaning to ‘You don't have to be wrong for me to be right.’ That meaning, though, comes from a location where right and wrong in the usual human sense simply don't exist. That location is the presence of God, before whom all our ideas, even all our beliefs, simply pale into insignificance. Did we love the ones God sent to us? or did we pester them to death with our probings?

I don't believe that all spiritual paths lead to God in an institutional sense. For example, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, even Judaism do not lead you to the living God, the only God there is, but then, neither does Christianity. All these ‘paths’ are only containers for our souls to keep us from spilling ourselves to death, but also from which we can offer ourselves as drink to others.

If that's not what we use our religion for, as Christians anyway, then we've got nothing to look forward to except staleness, and maybe evaporation. I believe what C. S. Lewis writes (quoting from memory), ‘All who persistently seek joy will find it,’ and that is what Christians mean by salvation, if they tear away all the fantasies they have about it. I also believe what he writes about knowing Jesus, that ‘no one can be saved without Him, but does one have to know Him to be saved by Him?’ (again, quoting from memory).

How many Christians really know Jesus? True, they may confess Him with their lips, even before men (I do the same), but do they, do I, really know Him? He’s not impressed even by the miracles we do in His name or by our calling to Him, ‘Lord, Lord,’ but He rewards those with ‘the joy of the Lord’, with salvation, if we have noticed Him walking among us, and done for Him what He does for us. Knowing about Jesus is not knowing Jesus.

Study and even confession is not doing what He does. To answer His call requires hands and feet, even if they must be pierced. The path of joy, of salvation, can only be walked. Heaven cannot be reached any other way. Yes, we must walk with Him, but like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we may not recognize who He is, yet we walk with Him just the same. The issue of who is right and wrong is meaningless in His presence.

The Lord is truly among us, alive, enlivening, walking with us, within us, among us, and we do not know Him, nor are we worthy to undo the straps of His sandals, but if He asks us, ‘Whom do you seek?’ let’s be bold enough to ask Him, ‘Rabbi, where do you live?’ and when He says, ‘Come and see,’ let’s not hesitate, but laying aside all earthly care, follow Him, so that He can teach us all things, how to do what He does, how to live the life of heaven on earth.

If we haven’t found the way here and now, we won’t find it anywhere or anywhen, because we will have let the Christ slip through our midst and disappear, because in truth we have sought to stone Him for His blasphemies. Sought to stone Him or throw Him off a cliff, the One who has come not to judge the world, but to offer the only life that is eternal to us, who can only receive it when we are willing to offer it to others, with whatever it takes.

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