I was standing before a tapestry of Jesus one morning in solitude and quiet when I distinctly heard a familiar phrase as if for the first time: “Come to me.” I’d studied and preached this marvelous passage (Matthew 11.28-30) from Jesus before. But this time ME was the message. “Come to ME,” Jesus was saying. “I am here. Come to Me.” “Be with ME.” “Stay here with ME.” I am a Person. I am Present. I am Real. I am Alive. There were no visions, no bright lights, no ecstasy. Only a quiet absoluteness of heart that Jesus was as real as the tapestry I was looking at. (Here’s a picture of the tapestry I was standing in front of.)[featured-image single_newwindow=”false”]
The desert fathers relate that they would receive a single word from their spiritual father. That word would become theirs for months and sometimes years as it slowly became a part of their life. Then, they would return for another word and so forth. I felt like that was happening to me. Jesus was giving me a single word to live into for months and years – ME. Not me (Keith) but ME – Jesus.
“He must increase, but I must decrease” writes St. John, the Theologian (3.30). It isn’t just about Jesus. It’s also about me becoming less, “self-less,” as the person of Jesus becomes more – not just in my thoughts but in my whole being – who I am. It’s about entering the struggle of repentance and faith as Jesus and I slowly become united as one. But that journey begins with a fuller realization that Jesus is a person.
So last, but certainly not least, the final Mega-Reality that will help your intimacy with the Trinity:
10. Jesus is a real person. I mean, right now, right here. He is not a concept or idea. He is not merely a historical figure to be studied like Abraham Lincoln or Joan of Arc. He’s a person with whom you have an ontological [the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality] relationship. He did not come to earth simply to teach us good morals. Nor did he come to simply die on the cross for our sins. Or give us an example to follow. He came to BE and He continues to BE.
Any relationship must be fed or it dies. Jesus invites you to the most intimate relationship of oneness when He says, “Come to ME.” Will you take Him up on His invitation?
A great way to more fully experience the reality of Jesus as a person is to have an icon, picture, or tapestry of Jesus which you look at often. You are not to worship this image, but to allow it to be a window to the real person. I rejected this idea for years to my spiritual detriment. A picture of Jesus will teach you that He is alive and real. Find an appropriate one on Amazon or legacyicons.com and make it a part of your prayer times. See what happens.
How have you experienced Jesus as a person?
What hinders you from more fully knowing Jesus as a person?
What will you begin doing to better relate to Jesus as a person?
Share your thoughts below.
I’ve linked this before, but it came to mind as I was writing this. Perhaps it will help you see Jesus as real. Click here.