I don’t ever recall a time in my life when I didn’t know who Jesus was. I grew up in a family who knew and loved Christ. But, as I look back on my childhood I wonder how well I actually knew Him. Sure, I could recite all the stories and I knew that through Him I was saved, but outside of that I don’t think that I had much of a relationship with Jesus.
To be honest, as a child it didn’t matter that much to me. We prayed before meals, we went to Mass, and we learned the stories… but we never made it personal and a part of our everyday lives. Looking back I can see that we simply went through the motions of what it meant to be a good Christian. It wouldn’t be until I was older that I not only began to understand how important my faith was but that I truly fell in love with Christ. I wrote about that experience at Catholic Sistas if you’d like to read about it (just click here if you want to!).
Of course, knowing Christ isn’t just a one-time experience. To truly know Him means that we have to have an ongoing relationship with Him. With this in mind, let’s dig into Chapter 2 of Rediscover Jesus.
Chapter 2: Getting to Know Jesus
My thoughts on Chapter 2:
Matthew Kelly asks us to rate on a 10 point scale how well we believe we know Jesus. As a student studying for my Masters in Theology, I feel that perhaps I have a lot more knowledge about Jesus’ life and teachings than the average Joe who doesn’t quite seem to be as engrossed in this type of study and may rate myself pretty high on a 10 point scale. However, I know that even with the knowledge I have, I don’t know Him nearly as well as I should!
One of the words that really spoke to me in this chapter was the word stranger. Matthew Kelly tells us that knowing about a person is not the same thing as knowing someone. This chapter drives home to me that I don’t want to be a stranger to Christ. I want to know Him in such a way that His story becomes my story. To really know Jesus this is exactly what has to happen. We can’t simply hear about Jesus, we have to truly experience Him in every way possible. He can’t be a stranger to us and we can’t be a stranger to Him.
The second word that stuck out to me is invitation. Have you ever gotten an invitation in the mail and been so excited that 1. someone thought of you and 2. you couldn’t wait to go to whatever the invitation was for? Jesus is that invitation. He wants each of us to come to get to know Him and He invites us personally. It’s exciting to think about!
Point to Ponder: Jesus wants to have a deep, dynamic personal relationship with you.
So what does that mean and how do we do this? I think that it will vary by person. The word dynamic indicates that our relationship will be ever-evolving. Christ doesn’t just call us to be static in our relationship but instead He calls us to experience Him in a plethora of ways. The way He calls me is going to be different than how He calls you. For me I think it is through prayer, study, and service to others that I feel like I get to know Him better. As we mature in faith the ways He calls us will change. I think this is important to remember as we go along our journey because our relationship with Jesus is unique and we should never compare it to someone else’s journey or relationship.
Verse to Live: “I am the Good Shepherd.” John 10:11.
Christ, as the Good Shepherd, wants only to keep us safe and to bring us into His Kingdom. He extends His invitation to each of us so that we can come to know Him and desire a place beside Him. He is the door by which we can gain entrance to the Kingdom and as the Good Shepherd He is willing to lay down His life so that we can be beside Him for eternity. However, if we don’t accept this invitation and choose to not live our lives getting to know Him intimately, we will not have a place at His side.
Question to Consider: How well do you really know Jesus?
I don’t know Jesus nearly as well as I should. I want Him to be a part of every aspect of my life. I want His story to be my story as well.
How well do you know Jesus? How can you get to know Him better? How will your life change by accepting His personal invitation to know and love Him? What points in this chapter stuck out to you?
Prayer: Jesus, open my heart and my mind so that I can get to know you as you really are.
You are the Good Shepherd and I long to know you intimately. Help me, Jesus, to readily accept your invitation to know you better. I want to live a life filled with your grace and love. Amen.