“All my life I knew of God, but I didn’t KNOW God.” he started in a slow and methodical voice.
He went on to say that when he learned we were studying the book of Romans, he looked at his Bible and realized he had a lot of catching up to do. He started reading from the very beginning with a voracious hunger, wanting to meet Jesus.
“I’m in Ezekiel now,” he commented from the baptismal with excitement in his voice “and although I know and have a relationship with Jesus, I haven’t met Him in the Bible yet…but I know He’s coming.”
I know He’s coming.
Those words from the grown man in the baptismal seemed to hang in the air. As our pastor dunked him and lifted him out of the water, I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head.
Jesus is coming.
We are about to celebrate His coming – the humble birth of our Savior.
We also anticipate His second coming as prophesied in the Bible.
I couldn’t help but think of how excited this man will be when he gets to the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John. He is going to meet Jesus, the fulfillment of prophecy, the Savior of mankind, the helpless babe in His mother’s arms.
I think that’s what I took away from listening to this man’s testimony as he stood in front of our congregation. He’s reading the Bible with expectancy. He’s reading the Bible to “meet” Jesus. And not just to meet Him as in “Hey, nice to meet you!”. But to meet up with Him as in “Pull up a chair and here’s a hot cup of coffee, let’s get to know each other.”
I’ll be honest that I often do not read the Bible with that kind of attitude. I think one of the things that can happen when you grow up in a Christian home and choose to follow Christ at a young age, is you become a little bit complacent with God’s word. It’s not a willful action or even a conscious action, but when you already know the ending, sometimes you can miss out on all the juicy details that happen in the middle.
I want to KNOW Jesus more. I want to open the Bible and read it with expectancy. I want to seek Jesus…like the wise men… who traveled so far because Jesus is coming. I want to meet him in the hot coffee, soul-baring conversation kind of way. And you know what? I can. The only person stopping me from doing that is me.
And that, my friends, is the unexpected lesson I learned from the man in the baptismal.