Imagine those disciples, walking Palestine’s dusty roads, absorbing Jesus’ teaching while sharing his journey. Imagine Nicodemus sitting on that rooftop in evening’s coolness, all the while under Jesus’ gaze, following his train of thought and being led into new ways of thinking. Imagine that marginalized woman, Samaritan yet, seeking the isolation of a deserted well, yet finding instead Jesus’ acceptance, and challenge, and surprising revelation.
Oh, to have been there, face to face! To hear the tenor of Jesus’ voice (what was it like?). To be drawn by the compassionate embrace of his eyes. To know, firsthand, his disarming insight, yet feel simultaneously his invitation to open inquiry.
To be right there, feet on the ground, would have been so good. Yet, through the Gospels, even at this distance, we enter in. Those first century records, in encounter after encounter, allow us to meet with Jesus, up close and personal. As he debates the Devil, challenges the rich young man, draws faith from the Canaanite woman, affirms Peter’s revelatory insight and rebukes his misguided passion, we hear his words, catch sight of his heart, understand his priorities, and, if we’re willing to listen, perceive his redirection for our own lives, right here, right now.
The Spirit of Jesus himself is intent to lead us into truth, into this personal encounter with Jesus.
May we have ears to hear, wills to choose, and feet and hands to engage.
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