Listening to all the conversations about knowing people made me realize we often do the same thing with Jesus. Christians know a lot of information about Jesus. We know stories about him, facts about his life, have heard about him from his friends—but do we really KNOW Jesus any more than I know Frank or that woman knows the director?
Stories, testimonials, and facts are a great place to start. But how do we KNOW Jesus in an intimate, relational way? We start by putting down our protective shields and intentionally showing our vulnerabilities. Turn your face toward heaven and say, “Jesus, my name is _______. I know you created me and I know what the Bible says about you, but I don’t really know YOU. Can we sit here while I tell you about my loneliness, hurt, and sadness?”
In most instances, folks try to establish relationships by putting their best face forward. We’ve learned how to read the other person, reinventing ourselves based on what we believe will get us a stamp of approval. Knowing information about someone helps us to anticipate what they expect and how to get “in” with them. But Jesus doesn’t want us to study up on his likes and dislikes in the hopes of gaining his favor. Nor does he want us to just be an audience member who believes proximity establishes relationship. Jesus asks us to go all in—drop all our pretenses and invite him to see our nakedness. While that approach may send your anxiety soaring, believe you me, it’s a whole lot better than finding yourself scared and alone when night falls in your chaotic life!