Isn’t social media wonderful for staying in touch? Watch a video of your nephew’s first step. Share your grandmother’s recipes. Make personal contact with your best friend on his birthday. Monitor your classmate’s battle with cancer.
Even though separated by a distance, you carry your friends and family around with you in your pocket or purse. But it’s not the same as being there in person, is it? There’s no substitute for holding your mom’s hand at the clinic when she gets the bad news, or sitting by your dad’s side at the funeral. A relationship is more than following a news feed, it’s being an eyewitness to history and experiencing it.
What kind of relationship do you have with Jesus? Most people know the facts about his life, as told to them by parents and preachers. In Nazareth, the people knew who Jesus’ parents were. They heard reports about his preaching and his miracles, and they were thrilled to have him come for a visit. But they didn’t know him as well as they thought. He announced, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown” (Luke 4:24). And when Jesus started to tell them what needed to change, the people of Nazareth tried to kill him.
Just knowing the facts about Jesus doesn’t change my behavior or attitude. Just following the story with my head won’t make me feel ashamed of my sins and lead me to trust him as my Savior. And it certainly won’t get me to heaven, because knowing about Jesus isn’t the same thing as knowing Jesus. Knowing Jesus means taking to heart what he says about my sins. Knowing Jesus means there’s nothing I can do to make this relationship work, but that he makes it all possible. Knowing Jesus means experiencing his love and forgiveness. Knowing Jesus means walking with him through the darkest days of my life. Knowing Jesus means a relationship that never ends, no matter how bad the news is.
How can you be close to someone who lived so long ago? Read the eyewitness accounts written in the Bible. Put yourself in their place and apply what they saw and heard to your own life. Stay in touch with your Savior by regularly reading and listening to God’s Word, and speak to him in prayer. Join together with other Christians to grow in your knowledge about Jesus and what he means for you.
It’s true: No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace.