I asked Jesus into my heart when I was seven years old in the Baptist church my family and I attended every now and then. With the faith of a little girl, I knew Jesus loved me and I loved him. I’ve grown in my knowledge, faith, and love, but the same childlike trust that made me believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, healed people, loved the world, and died on the Cross at Calvary, is the same one that anchors me today.
My young adult children are experiencing what some would call a crisis of faith. I see it differently. I believe they are untangling the Truth from all the other unnecessary threads they’ve been taught by me, the church, our community, culture, and others. I’m thankful they are curious, and glad they are learning that our relationship with Jesus is not a checklist of facts to believe. I’m in the middle of untangling as well and God is delighted.
The Truth Is Someone
Our relationship with Jesus is a deeply personal “getting-to-know” kind of thing. It’s learning to trust him and ourselves to him. It’s knowing our strengths and our weaknesses, all the good, all the bad, and all the ugly parts. It’s growing more and more comfortable with who He’s made us to be and asking Him to change what’s not loving Him, ourselves, and others well.
It’s a willingness to wrestle with our questions and doubts and not giving up when we don’t understand. It’s embracing the mystery and accepting that faith means we do not have all the answers. As my friend Roger Martin says, “We’re all partly wrong.”
Some claim there are certain facts, doctrines, interpretations, and convictions we must hold to in order to be a true Christian. One denomination says this. Another says that. We have creeds, doctrines, edicts, and proclamations. Christian leaders created an organization devoted to telling us what biblical manhood and biblical womanhood looks like.
We Question, We Learn
Do we need these extra-biblical terms and lists? Do we look to man or to Jesus? Which denomination has the corner on truth? Do we need to add to the childlike faith we came with? What did Jesus mean when he said we must come like little children (Matthew 18)?
These are questions I’m asking as I seek God and study the Bible, and I know God welcomes them. I believe with all my heart that God keeps His own. He never leaves us and will never let us go. God’s love is deeper and wider and higher than we can ever imagine.
The story of Philip touched me in a new way recently. Philip’s response to Nathanael when he asked if anything good could come out of Nazareth is fascinating. Philip didn’t make his case for Jesus. He didn’t list facts about Jesus. Philip said, “Come and see!”
Because when we find something good we want our friends to see it, taste it, or hear it for themselves. Kids are the best at this. Wherever kids are – playgrounds, backyards, or waterparks – you will hear, “Look at that!” and “Did you see?” or “Watch this!” and “Come and see!”
May we all be as eager as a child to say to those around us, “Come and see” and may our lives be lived in such a way that they see Jesus.
Philip found Nathanael
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.” John 1:43-51