(This is post 10 in a series that starts here).
I've wondered and wondered exactly where Jesus fits into the story. I've experienced the wonder of Father. And of the Holy Spirit. But strange as it may seem, I've often been puzzled and lost when it comes to Jesus.
Oh yes, when I was young, I learned all the stories. I understood the doctrine and theology. I "asked Jesus into my heart": several times actually. Hesitantly at first, following the "ABC rules of salvation", and yet still unsure, numerous times fearing I'd "lost my salvation by backsliding." And then, finally, permanently, and with great relief and even joy, a few months after my first child was born. Following that, I was baptized, too, in the name of the Father, and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. And I have always prayed "in Jesus' name." Even, when I was young, prayed TO Jesus. Until someone taught me that we pray to the Father through the name of Jesus.
So I thought Jesus was for little children, and for adults in order to become Christians, and maybe for awhile in their walk when they were still baby Christians. But I was taught, led to believe, that mature Christians went on to "deeper things," to "maturity," and in the process went on to, well, experiencing the Holy Spirit, or to studying the Word in depth, or on to focusing on The Father, or to lots of involvement in the church, or... (fill-in-the-blank,depending on whose doctrine you hear. And I've been taught all of these at one time or another).
And yet, all along I've always been hounded by the question, "What about Jesus?"
And I've always longed for MORE, in my walk with God.
Lately, more and more, I've heard people saying that we need to be more Christ-centric. To be fully centered on Christ.
This morning I started reading the "red words" in Matthew. Of course I've read them dozens of times before, but this time I had a special focus and purpose. I was looking for Jesus. Really searching.
I read where Jesus says, "God blesses those who realize their need for Him [the poor in spirit] for the kingdom of Heaven is given to them." (Matthew 5:1 NLT). And I realized this need I've had to really know God cannot be filled with (heretical as this may sound) only by knowing and walking with Father and the Holy Spirit (aided by church involvement and Bible study of course). I must know and walk with Jesus, too. Centrally.
Jesus fulfills the "Trinity." Jesus is Himself God: "the fulness of the Godhead bodily." The God we can see, touch, feel, hear, know. The God Who meets us in our humanness.
I've known the words, the theory, the doctrine, the theology. But...
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Where Jesus fits into the story
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As I read this post I think of a large family, with the relationships described in scripture. God the Father, Jesus His only son, and us, the bride of Jesus. Of course, the Holy Spirit exists to point us to Him, as you have previously stated. In this scenario, the Father and Holy Spirit are integral parts, but the Holy Spirit takes a back seat, so to speak, and works "behind the scenes". He does not draw attention to Himself. Jesus, as our bridegroom, is the focus of our pursuit, while we learn to approach the Father as one who is in Christ. You are so right, that all things, from Old Testament scripture to creation, point to the all-consuming importance of Christ, and then Christ points to the Father. It really is a wonderful thing!
"Then Christ points to the Father." I wonder sometimes if I have dashed past Jesus in my rush to get to the Father (or to the Spirit, or to other things, at various times, that I've thought were the goal). Instead of stopping and looking at Jesus, spending lots of time with Him, SEEING FATHER IN HIM.
And as if, out of the corner of my eye, I see His finger pointing, and I dash off, pell-mell, in the general direction, by myself, instead of walking the road step by step with Him. Naturally, I soon find myself way off the road.
By the way, thank you for the family description, and the reminder of Jesus as our bridegroom, whom we walk up the aisle toward, our eyes glued to his face in love, and we take his hand, and face forever together with him. Of course I've heard and read this image many times, but somehow your words, "Jesus as our bridegroom, is the focus of our pursuit, while we learn to approach the Father as on who is in Christ," has made the analogy much clearer to me. :-)
"I see His finger pointing, and I dash off, pell-mell, in the general direction, by myself,"
That sounds like something I've done before! It seems like He has to correct my rabbit trails fairly frequently. The great thing is that He is so faithful to do it, and one day I will mature enough to not do it so frequently!
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