While there are many good and godly goals for a Christian community to appropriate, I was reminded by our oldest son this morning as he preached at our church home that a higher goal of our church family is to gather so we see Jesus. If I want to know Jesus better, I need you. I can’t see Him more clearly or love Him more dearly without you.
Each of us who walk with Christ display Him in different and varied ways. How I know and walk with Christ is different than how you do and as such, you show me something about Him that I would not be able to see without knowing and interacting with you.
In personality terms, an Enneagram 8 doesn’t show Jesus the same way a 5 or 1 would. Or, if you like the DISC profile, the introverts of the world do not display Jesus the same way an extrovert would. Or, how about the love languages or animal personality test – either way, you won’t love, communicate or care for others the exact same way as another believer. Fact is, Jesus in you is going to look differently than Jesus in me!
This is not negating doctrine nor the salvific work and sanctification of the Spirit; no – truly – it is the elevation of what we believe. What we believe about our God and who He is in our lives is essential to our faith. Yet, though we may believe same or similar theological points, how we live that out and how the Spirit works in my life to conform me to Christ will indeed look differently than how Jesus is worked out through you. You therefore will show me Jesus in a way I could never see Him on my own.
I pondered my dependency to see Jesus in a community of faith and thought of this.
- I see Jesus in my friend who is much quieter than I am; I am reminded of how often Jesus went away by himself to pray or sat quietly in a boat in the middle of a storm. This stills my heart and brings me quiet peace.
- I see Jesus in my friend who has the gift of hospitality; I am able to bask in the welcome God offers me to come into His throne room (Hebrews 4:16).
- I see Jesus in my friend who was hurt by others and yet, showed great discernment in what words they chose NOT to say; here, I see the kindness of Jesus on His way to the cross when even then, He did not destroy the reputation of Judas or revile those who were persecuting Him but instead, showed great grace to those who didn’t deserve it (I Peter 2:21-23). I am reminded I don’t deserve it but have also received the grace of God.
- I see Jesus in my friend who under great pain and sorrow yet loves with all her heart; I know Jesus loves me even more than her amazing example (John 3:16).
I could go on and on for the many good and excellent ways I see Jesus in those who love Him and show that in godly ways. But I have also learned to see Jesus in the painful times. To see the faithfulness of Jesus when others are faithless to Him or to me. To see the comfort of Jesus even at the side of a hospital bed where death has visited. It is not just the easy or the comfortable relationships that show me Jesus. All relationships are given by God to help me see Jesus more.
Dear Reader – may we not be blind to Jesus. Until next time, may we seek Him out and let us not miss how He is showing Himself to us, especially in our church families.
Wanting to see Jesus in others so brightly I need SONglasses! (puns come with the blog, folks) Until next time, fondly yours and Blessings Abundant, Elizabeth
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
—1 John 4:17