The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 78

“And the one who comes to me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to me]” – (John 6:37, Amplified Bible, words in italics mine).

Every person’s destiny is dependent upon his relationship to Jesus. There is always only one of two options open: to listen to him or to ignore him; to receive him or to reject him; to submit to him or to renounce him. It is always an ‘either/or’ option; there is never any other alternative!

So what does this coming to Jesus really mean? I believe it hinges on the fact that Jesus is a living person. Therefore, all those who sincerely want to have a relationship with him can approach him. However, the sort of relationship that Jesus wants us to have is not to be based on hearsay; it is to be based on firsthand knowledge. When a person first comes to Christ, hearsay may well have provided the first clue for contact with Jesus. Other’s testimonies are helpful. But only earnest desire can carry the new believer any further in his relationship.

You see, the truth is that we can never have a relationship with Jesus based upon someone else’s description of Jesus. Second-hand information may be accurate, but it can never be a substitute for one’s personal experience. Reading an historical account of a battle, for example, is quite different from hearing it described by the veteran who was actually a part of it! To speak from personal experience is to provide authenticity. The same applies to knowing Jesus. A valid Christian experience must be based on firsthand knowledge; otherwise it is both unconvincing and hypocritical. How can anyone tell others what Christ has done for him unless he has experienced it inwardly?

The story is told about a street preacher who was being loudly ridiculed by a man while he presented the gospel message. Without saying a word, the preacher calmly pulled an orange from his pocket, peeled it, and ate it. Then he turned to the heckler and asked him whether the orange was sweet or bitter. “You fool” the heckler replied, “how can I tell when I haven’t tasted it?” The preacher replied, “Then how can you know what Christ is like, since you have never experienced him?”

Let us not fall into the trap of basing our relationship with Christ on our initial ecstatic experience of forgiveness and freedom. Our first experience was but the doorway to the reality of knowing Christ. Only on a day-to-day basis can we fully come to understand his protection, his encouragement, his comfort and his provision. Only then can we declare with confidence that we have ‘come to him’.

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues