John 19:2626 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
11 And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.
Did you ever notice that in all of the sufferings of the Cross, it did not impair His eyesight? I’m sure His eyes were bloodied, but He made sure that He could still see. His back was beaten, His flesh torn, and His beard was plucked. Through it all, the pain of the Cross, never blinded The Savior to our needs.
It’s a guess, but I believe Christ’s eyes were the color of the dust. We have always been the pupil of God’s spiritual eyes, I tend to think the physical were no different. The eyes that looked into Matthew’s soul at the receipt of custom, have never stopped watching over us.
When we mention the Cross, people prepare for a message on Salvation. As strange as it sounds, there is so much more to the Cross than salvation. Setting aside the issue of eternity, I have a question.
One that I would like to ask you to ask yourself over the next few days. The question is this, “As individuals, how well do we know Jesus?” Too many Christians look at Calvary as the climax of their relationship with Jesus, to Him, it’s simply the beginning.
We view Calvary from our perspective as humans, salvation for the entire world, and it was. For The Sacrificial Savior it was a very personal place. Just like His relationship with us, our relationship with Him must be very personal.
This question I’ve asked, isn’t for the corporate altar, but the private one. You see, I don’t doubt our love, commitment, or devotion to Jesus. That is not the question. The question is, how near to Him are we?
My concern is that we’re so busy, tired, etc, that we sacrifice closeness with The One who gave Himself for us. We think, “He’ll understand”, and I’m sure He does, but should He have too?
I asked a few today, if they had to describe Jesus to a stranger, using five words that didn’t include Personal, Savior, and God, what would they say? The majority response included the word Friend. More than anyone else, you know what your close friends feel, like, and think.
The word friend is made up of letters that, in the Hebrew, are based on pictures. The two pictures for friend are a picture representing the eyes, and the face of a man. Combined this means “man watches”, it portrays a Shepherd watching His sheep. Often the flock are His only companions, the dear friends He protects.
Friend can also mean either a brother, a husband, or an associate. Obviously two are much closer than the other. The choice is in the one who defines the word’s meaning. Jesus called both Lazarus and Judas a friend. One defined the phrase, the other defied it.
The older I get, the more I want to know Jesus. Are we a conversing Christian or a consignment shop Christian? We find time to get close when there’s a need, but what about when there isn’t?
When in the hospital, it’s easy to find time for Him. If you’ll excuse the play on words, it’s easy to see Him from the I.C.U., but what about in the morning when all is well? How often does He hear from us when we don’t have a problem?
If you struggle with improving your relationship with Jesus, I have three points that may help. They’re based on a pattern that Pastor Denny Livingston outlined in his recent blog, “Leadership Rhythm“. I’ll place the link here, rather than doing it an injustice by an attempt to condense it. The points though, for applying a closer walk with Jesus through Scripture, are listed below.
1. Find someone in Scripture you identify with.
2. Study their relationship with Jesus
3. Implement what you learn
If you do this with a different person for twelve months, you’ll have spent a year drawing closer to Jesus. If you only learn one thing from each, that will be twelve ways to draw closer to The Savior. I guarantee this, once you know Him better you’ll seek to know Him better!