John 14:9-11 (NKJV):
9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
Matthew 16:15 NKJV:
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
How many times did the Lord tell me: "Have I been with you so long, yet you have not known Me?" Holy Spirit truly emphasized these words to me through one of the devotionals that I read by Oswald Chambers today to remind me how long of a way have I come. I can see that all these trials and hardships they only bring me to one solid truth: Knowing Who God Really Is.
We are pretty good at making general statements that most of the Christians would say: "God is good, Praise God, God Loves me, I believe in God, etc." What do these words really mean? Do they come out of your mouth because you know God personally, or do they come out because this is a habit that we`ve developed over the years to say these things to sound good in front of the others?
Phillip was one of Jesus` disciples, and He saw Jesus day in and day out for at least 3 years of Jesus' ministry on this earth, yet Jesus made this statement to him: "Have I been with you so long, yet you have not known Me, Philip?" How said it is to see people living their lives playing church and never truly seeking God personally. For me, the past 10 years at least have been nothing but a quest to find out who God really is because I want to please Him with my life. You can`t find out about that without asking questions and searching through the scriptures.
Three things here to emphasize from the verses above that we read:
- We must have faith that Jesus is the Son of God
- We must know Jesus personally face to face
- We must have fruits of our walk with Jesus
First of all, we must believe that Jesus is the Son of our Heavenly Father. Without this primary initial point we cannot even go any further.
4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4 NKJV).
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11 NKJV).
9that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10 NKJV).
We must believe and confess Jesus to be our Lord and Savior; the only way to Heaven is through Him. We must believe in our heart and confess with the mouth that Jesus died and rose from the dead for our sins. He is the only sacrifice needed for atonement of our sins, and those who believe in Him, they will have inheritance with our Heavenly Father in Heaven.
The second important component is to know Jesus personally face to face.
15He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.(Matthew 16:15-17 NKJV)
Back in the days when Jesus was leading his 3 year ministry, this was a valid question that still stands today: "Who do you say that I am?" We are inclined to ask this question and rightly so, but it is only good to ask it if we truly desire and seek to know the answer. Every person on this earth lives in a quest to find meaning in life. What`s it all about? This meaning could only be found and satisfied in our Creator and Lord because He is the Author and Creator of every living thing.
In Jesus' days, people questioned who He was since He healed the sick, delivered the possessed, and saved the sinners. Peter had a personal revelation of who Jesus was, and this is why despite Peter`s impulsive untried character, Jesus acknowledged Peter`s personal relationship with the Lord. Peter knew who Jesus really was: the Son of the living God through his personal relationship with the Lord. Jesus commanded Peter for knowing that through his personal relationship with the Father.
How many of us could come to the Lord and honestly tell Him that we know who He truly is because of what we`ve experienced through our personal relationships with Him? I couldn`t do that for a long time. It took me many years to fully understand the extent of His character: how much loving, long patient, and longsuffering He truly is. When I finally met Him face to face, it brought my relationships with Him to the next level. I live delighting in the Lord accepting and believing in Him for who He really is instead of making up my own perception of who I want Him to be. I think many of us fail in our walk with God because of this exact problem: when we try to make Him to be the way we want Him to be. It won't happen, so don`t try that!
I don`t want to hear this words addressed towards me that Jesus asked Phillip: Have I been with you so long, yet you have not known Me?" Ouch!
Thirdly, we must have fruits of our walk with Jesus. Please note, what Jesus said in the verse 11:
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves (John 14:11 NKJV).
If some of us can`t comprehend and realize that Jesus is the Lord who died and rose again for our sins, than we should believe Him according to all the things He`s done on this earth during His 3 year ministry. He healed, delivered, resurrected from the dead, and saved. This too, should be an example of our walk with the Lord. We must have fruits of the salvation, fruits of our relationships with the Lord, so people could believe in who Jesus truly is if not through believing in God, than through our example of being the light to this world.
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a]and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me (John 15:1-4 NKJV).
We are to bear much fruit to glorify the Father just as Jesus did Himself when walking this earth for 33 years of His human life. This is not a suggestion, but a command from Jesus Himself to bear much fruit as a direct correlation of our relationships with Him; us abiding in Him.
As we think about these three things: having faith that Jesus is the Son of God, knowing Jesus personally face to face, and producing fruits of our walk with the Lord, we should ponder on this question of Who God Really Is. I encourage you to search the scriptures and never be afraid to ask God questions. The true friendship and devotion is never afraid to seek direction and answers to be more fruitful.
I would like to conclude with the words from today`s Oswald Chambers' message:
Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. We can continually pour out our hearts to Him without being perceived as overly emotional or pitiful. The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depth. The picture resulting from such a life is that of the strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.