The other day I started thinking about a conversation my sister and I had with our mother years and years ago – it was about Jesus. Mother did not yet know Jesus personally, but even so, this conversation opened the eyes of my sister and I to a stark new realization as to just how little she really knew about Him.
The conversation started when, during our weekly visit with her for lunch, we were all hanging out in the kitchen. My sister and I, as usual, were getting our “Jesus talks” in whenever we could squeeze in a few words – it’s what we like to talk about most!
That day my sister informed me that their church was planning a trip to Israel, and they were praying and saving their money because they really wanted to go on the trip with their church and their pastor.
I blurted out: Wow, can you imagine how great that will be to be able to walk where Jesus walked?
And then came a shocker. Mother stated, What do you mean walk where Jesus walked? Jesus wasn’t a real person!
Our Israel conversation came to a stop dead in its tracks. You see, mother’s earthly dad had been a minister, and even though we had never been able to meet him in person because he died before we were born, mother had often talked about being raised in a church-going household.
So when mother made her comment about Jesus not being a real person, I was so dumb-founded that I couldn’t do anything but sit there with my mouth wide open. Thankfully my sister took the reins and began to explain that the Bible was not just a storybook, but that it is truth.
That conversation didn’t end well that day (it usually didn’t when we disagreed with something mother said); but the main thing is that we believe mother did accept Jesus into her heart shortly before she passed from this earth, so that is all that really matters.
But thinking about this further, how many people believe the same thing mother did? How many people are not being taught the truth as they sit in church pews every week? How many people think that the stories in the Bible are just that – stories?
How many people aren’t taking the time to read and study the Bible on their own – they’re instead just trusting their pastor/minister/priest to teach them the truth…
Sometimes I like to reflect about what it must have been like to have been one of Jesus’ original disciples. How great it must have been to be with Him every day, listening to His teaching and watching how He interacted with people.
But the truth is: He is with us every day! Even though we cannot just go up to Him and actually feel His human flesh, we are still able to walk with Him every day, just like the disciples did. We can ask Him questions, laugh with Him, cry with Him, learn from Him, and even be rebuked by Him!
We also can see miracles from Him every day – if we’re watching for them. Have you looked at the clouds lately – how intricately designed they are? What about the beautiful springtime flowers that start to poke up from the dirt after a cold winter? Or sitting on an ocean beach and looking for miles and miles into nothingness but just being relaxed by the sound of the crashing waves?
I’ve had friends who have been delivered from alcoholism and friends healed of infirmities, but one of the greatest miracles of all for me personally is the miracle of how Jesus changed my life. Thirty years ago I thought I had everything in control. I was arrogant, prideful, and hurtful to others if I thought it was to my advantage – basically I was just a not very nice person. But then Jesus got ahold of my life and now I am free, forgiven and at peace – even when things seem to twirl out of control for a time. And, the more I study the Bible, the more I realize that I would never EVER want to go back to the “old” me if given the chance.
But I would not have gotten to where I am today if I hadn’t taken the time to engross myself in God’s Word. Because the pastors/ministers/priests that we listen to every week may be well-meaning, but you need to find out for yourself if what they are preaching is the unadulterated truth. Don’t trust what people are saying about Jesus – even your family members! Find out for yourself. It’s far too easy to be led astray.