In this installment of the Identity Series, Mark Lake shares on how we are “familiar” with Jesus. I believe you will find this post to be very insightful and edifying.
Mark is a great brother and loves the Lord so much. He has a way of sharing our Lord in very practical, yet very beautiful ways. I suggest you read his blog and subscribe. Read Mark’s blog HERE.
Your Actual Identity: Familiar
I’ve noticed recently that in the past few months I haven’t felt as familiar with Christ as I have in the past. In seeking to spend time with Christ I have mostly resorted to praising Him for His beauty, majesty, generosity, mercy, faithfulness, love, and so on.
Certainly Jesus is all of those things and infinitely more, and there is nothing wrong with telling Him. But I’ve been using this praise as a substitute for intimacy.
Imagine a friend or your spouse wanting to get to know you, but all you ever do is tell them how smart or pretty or wonderful they are without ever having any substantial conversation. The result: it gets old and boring. And it is not the way that close friends talk to each other. When we become intimate with our friends and spouse, we know and trust how they feel about us and can move beyond the formal compliments to informal intimacy.
Jesus displayed this kind of familiar intimacy while He was walking among us. Jesus displayed authority, but not a distant authority, as most worldly leaders portray. If Jesus were physically on the earth today (I know He is through the church, just go with me here) I doubt you would find Him riding in bulletproof limousines, hanging out in an oval office, guarded by a security detail, or wearing papal vestments. You would more likely find Him hanging out in Calcutta with Mother Teresa kissing and loving on the victims of AIDS and leprosy. Jesus was accustomed to touching the lepers of His day. Jesus remained close to the commoners. When they exalted Him as King and sang praises to Him, He moved through the crowd on a lowly donkey as if to say, “I’m one of you.”
Jesus loved His followers. He provided for them and ministered to them. He was accused of partying too much with the “sinners” or “losers” of His day. How dare He have fun. How dare He love them.
Jesus’ disciples traveled with Him wherever He went. They learned from Him, watched Him, and hung out with Him. The apostle John was so close to Jesus that He rested his head on Jesus’ chest. John refers to himself as the “disciple that Jesus loved”.
One of the very reasons that Jesus came to live among humanity was to show us the face of God. God wanted to us to be familiar with Him!
Virtually all religions outside of Jesus promote a distant, demanding, cruel, or untouchable god. This is NOT the kind of God that Jesus displayed to us.
I am excited now to re-enter the land of familiarity with Jesus. I am basking in the fact that I don’t have to be overly formal. I’m looking forward to laughing together and simply enjoying each other’s presence. He knows that I love Him. And I’ll continue to tell Him, but not so that I am allowed to draw close to Him, but because I am already in Him.
You can have this intimate familiarity as well.
Christ in you, the hope of glory!