Suppose you discover that someone wants to get to know you – they want to know what you are like…if you are someone fun to hang out with…if you are a friend who is trustworthy and loyal, genuine and honest, etc. How would you like this seeker to go about gathering information, getting to know you? What should that person do? Would you like them to ask other people? If so, whom should they ask? Or, perhaps, whom should they not ask?
I actually posted those questions on Facebook the other day, and the answers I got only proved my hunch. Overwhelmingly, people desired potential seekers to gather their information, and reach a conclusion, as a result of spending time with them, personally. Then, most people said the seeker could ask those closest to them, such as family members or best friends. NO ONE wanted the seeker to “get to know them” or “draw conclusions about them” based on information gathered from people considered to be their enemies or individuals who did not personally know them. All of these sentiments are quite understandable.
If spending time with us, and asking those who know and love us, is how we want someone to get to know us, how come we settle for less when it comes to getting to know Jesus? After all, it is a well-documented historical fact that he is a person. Who is he, really? Is he worth getting to know? Is he trustworthy and loyal? Why not give Jesus the same courtesy and opportunity we desire from others who seek to know us? Why do we give credence to literature and arguments by self-proclaimed “enemies” of Jesus? Why do we allow the opinions and assumptions of those who admit they do not know Jesus, or care to know him, to bear weight on the outcome of our own search to know Jesus?
Some might argue that, as an historical figure, we cannot spend time with Jesus in the same way that you or I could spend time together. Even if that argument is true – that Jesus is not alive and well, as he and his friends claim – we can at least start the process of getting to know Jesus by reading what he said about himself. Then, from there, we can listen to what his closest friends and others who were eyewitnesses to his words and actions as he walked the dusty roads of Palestine more than 2000 years ago. Yes, start there, in his biographies – the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In those four books, we can read, for ourselves, what Jesus said about himself and what his friends, and even some his enemies, have to say about him.