Regardless of your belief system or your background, I can tell you that the most influential person that has ever lived on the face of the earth that has ever walked on this planet is Jesus Christ.
Yet most people, even followers of Christ, have not personally examined the evidence or have studied the New Testament for themselves in order to find out who Jesus is, who He is to them, and what – if any — difference He makes in their lives.
In fact, about eighty-two percent of Christians in America only read the Bible when they come to church. So it’s not surprising that for most Christians, our view of Jesus is based primarily on what someone tells us, what we hear on the radio, or what we view or read on the Internet.
Then how do we discover the “real Jesus” today?
First, we need to know that God wants to speak powerfully to us. But He also says, “If you really want Me to speak, if you want to know Me, if you want to experience Me – not just intellectually, not just cognitively — you need to seek me.”
If you seek Me as silver and search for Me as hidden treasure, then you will discern the fear of the Lord and discover the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2)
In other words, God is saying to us, “I want to see that your heart isn’t just to use Me. I want you to search for Me because I want to know you and I want to reveal Myself to you.”
When we study God’s word to understand who Jesus really is, we should be asking three questions:
- What does it say? (Observation) Making observations help us see what is really being said — the truth.
- What does it mean? (Interpretation) To discover the meaning, we must first understand what it most likely meant to the original audience in the time and context that it was written.
- What does it mean to me? (Application) Finally we need to ask: How does this truth apply to me in 2015 — as a single mom, an overworked dad, a single person wanting to get married, or as person who just really needs some direction?
A good place to start seeking God is to learn about Jesus in the book of John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)
Based on this passage of Scripture, we learn that Jesus is the God who was and is and is to come. He’s the Creator of all that there is, the source of all life – including your life and your future. He knows the beginning from the end. He is in charge of all history.
What does this mean to each of us? The next logical question we could ask Him is: “Jesus, since you are the CEO of the universe and the Creator and the source of all life – are you in control of my life?”
You see, knowing Jesus isn’t just knowing about Him, reading a chapter in the Bible, or trying to be a good moral person.
It’s about having a personal, living, dynamic relationship with the Lord of lords and the King of kings who wants to speak to you.
To know God better and to access more resources on this topic, check out Chip’s series Jesus Unfiltered: Believe as well as the group study and book The Real God.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip