Our Relationship with Jesus
We can have a close personal relationship with Jesus in spite of his being away up in Heaven.
But, before we can have a relationship with anyone, we must get to know and interact with him or her, the more often the better. So let us begin to enhance our relationship with Jesus because it is that association, which is quite important in our lives.
Teacher and Student
It is Jesus, himself, that initiates our relationship with him by instructing us, for he is the ultimate teacher and learning from him is the best education available for example, the sermon on the mount. And the more apt a student we are, the more we will get from his instruction, but dont think we can sit in the back of the classroom and just listen or drowse off. For Jesus expects our interaction and if he doesnt get it, he will initiate it; so be alert and pay attention.
Mat 10:24 "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
John 13:13 "You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.
And like any good teacher, he will, from time to time, give us examinations to test how much we have learned and understood. Academic knowledge is not enough for Jesus because he is teaching how to behave as well. He demonstrated right behavior based on his teaching, just as the driving instructor will show how to handle the vehicle in all circumstances. Then the instructor will let the student driver handle the vehicle, and then he will correct and encourage the neophyte driver so too will Jesus, but in areas far more important than driving. For his teaching gives us the Words of Life and the behavior that will lead into the Kingdom of God.
One of the best ways to learn good works is by example, which Jesus gives in abundance. He demonstrated his loving kindness when he washed his disciples feet, which also showed his humility, servitude, and courtesy. And, he tells us to be like him.
John 13:14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.
John 13:15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Without a good education, we can do nothing. But a good education is fruitless if we do not apply ourselves. The gospel, the rest of the Bible for that matter, is the best course of study available to us, and as we study about God and Jesus, our relationship with them grows and grows. And, when we follow Jesuss example, we become better and better students able to rightly handle the Word of God. Can we say teachers pet?
Lord and Servant
In todays time, we have difficulty understanding the relationship between servant and master, or lord. Even when we work for a company, the boss does not have the right to physically discipline an employee, or even discipline him or her at all fire, maybe, if union and government rules allow, but discipline, not at all. Those in the Armed Services have a better idea of whos in charge here, anyway; children in strict homes, and some pupils in school, also have an idea of authority and consequences.
How many have gone to jail to be faithful servant in protecting an employer? But, that is the kind of relationship we ought to have with Jesus, one of servant and lord. Jesus is the boss, period.
Mat 25:21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' [NIV]
If we can be that loyal and faithful employee to a physical employer, then we demonstrate our aptness as students of Jesus our teacher and master. Since he treats us as trustworthy servants with responsibilities, we must show that loyalty by acting as if he is present, even when the master is away.
Mat 24:45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?
Mat 24:46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.
Mat 24:47 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
Luke 12:37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.
Luke 12:38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night.
Luke 12:39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
Luke 12:40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Our dependability and loyalty, especially when we do not fully understand our master, Jesus, must be completely beyond any reproach. Yes, lord, you can count on us to do whatever you want, whatever you taught us, whether or not you ever come around. And, we will do it as you want, not as we think we ought.
Clearly, we can practice our servitude in all areas of our life, not just at the job. Further, if we have the opportunity to be in charge of others, we are to treat the underlings as Jesus treats us.
Col 4:1 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
Eph 6:9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
High Priest and Congregation
The High Priest had a particular function for Israel; they had to make sacrifices for the sins of the people. Well, Jesus fulfilled the office of the High Priest as well as the sacrifice. Instead of animals for sacrifice, Jesus made one enduring sacrifice where he took on the sins of all mankind, from Adam to the last man standing, or woman.
Heb 9:11 When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, [Some early manuscripts are to come] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
Heb 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
Heb 9:24 For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence.
But, that is not all, because Jesus extended the scope of the High Priest and became our advocate before Our Father in Heaven. Not only having saved us from the finality of permanent death, he goes to Our Father in Heaven and pleads our case for us.
So, by confessing our sins, mistakes and errors, because we are no longer serial sinners but converted sinners, we receive forgiveness, yes as we forgive others, but also by the blood of Our Savior from God.
Heb 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
Heb 5:9 And, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.
Since we all make mistakes, we need our advocate in heaven. So our response to our High Priest to accept his sacrifice, believe God raised him from the dead, and claim eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
Savior (Hero) and Victim
From time to time, heroes give up their lives to save someone from danger or death. We have such a hero in our lives. As indicated above, Jesus gave up his life for our (not his) sins, because he never sinned. Everyone in the world has sinned, except Jesus, and therefore all are under the death penalty. But, Jesus stepped in and took the penalty away from us by dying in our place. Since he never sinned, he never had to die, but did anyway because he is a hero and savior.
What did he save us from? He saved us from sin, sickness and death, if we believe without a doubt and prove our faith by obedience to Gods Law.
2Ti 1:10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
We are the victims of the deceit of Satan and our own egos, but Jesus saved us.
2Th 2:10 and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Rom 5:9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!
One time the Apostles and Jesus were out on the water and a micro burst came up. Jesus had fallen asleep, and the rocking of the boat, the roar of the wind, and fearful cries of the apostles did not stir him. Finally, they rushed to where he lay and roused him from his peaceful slumber. Somewhat annoyed at their fear, and, probably from being awaken so suddenly, he rebuked them and the weather.
Luke 8:24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.
Luke 8:25 "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."
Who is it? It is our hero.
How can we get him to save us?
Act 16:30 He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
Act 16:31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-- you and your household."
We believe in Jesus when we believe that he died for our sins and God raised him from the dead.
Rom 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Rom 10:10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
The first step in believing in our hero is to hear about him. The next step is confess, or speak the words or faith, Jesus is Lord. Finally, faith is completed by action, at least by keeping the Sabbath over which Jesus is lord.
1Co 15:2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance [Or you at the first]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Peter, [Greek Cephas] and then to the Twelve.
Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Tit 3:6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
Tit 3:7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
Physician and Patient
While healing is a subject all of its own, we must remember that God said that He is our healer. We know that to be true even if He does not heal us miraculously because our bodies heal themselves of cuts, colds, and fractures. Even when we take drugs or have surgery, all would be in vain if the body, with some occasional help, did not have the healing power within from God. Again Jesus has a part in the healing because it is by his wounds suffered on Passover night that God heals us.
1Pe 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
So we are the patients, and Jesus is the physician appointed by God. The power God gave Jesus to heal is shown in many incidents reported in the gospels. However, it took faith on the part of the patient to go to Jesus for the healing because he or she thought Jesus could heal him or her.
Mat 8:7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
Mat 8:8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Mat 8:9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
Mat 8:10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
The centurion understood that God gave Jesus the authority to heal by the power of the Spirit. So when Jesus told the disease to go away, or touched a person, or used some other method, the illness left if the person believed, which they must have or else why would they go to him. Why do people go to a doctor if they thought he could do them no good?
Repentance was a further aspect required in healing. Sin causes sickness and finally death, so, for a person to be healed by Jesus, he or she must change from being a sinner to a law keeper from being a thief to being a generous person, from being a liar to a person dealing in truth, or Truth. You also must remember that health laws exist, that the breaking of them can lead to illness, too. So, repentance of bad health habits promotes health. And, God, through Jesus wounds, will not heal a dissipater until he or she changes, and that change may not therefore require miraculous healing.
Jesus Is Our Best Friend
We have many friends in life, spouses, fellow workers, social buddies and the like. But, none of these can compare to Jesus friendship in quality and constancy. Jesus friendship is wide ranging and compelling.
Friend of Sinners
No sinner or disreputable character could deter Jesus friendship. Hypocrisy might, but other character defects did not.
Mat 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." 'But wisdom is proved right by her actions."
Friends Can Be Imposed upon
Sometimes our constant insistence for some favor may annoy a friend to the point where he or she will refuse us for a time until the annoyance can be rid of only by acquiescence so, to with Jesus.
Luke 11:5 Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
Luke 11:6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'
Luke 11:7 "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.'
Luke 11:8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness [Or persistence] he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
Therefore, when we pray by Jesus authority and never give up our favorable answer, we can wear Jesus and God down until we get our desire, but, be careful what we ask for because God will use our desire to change some undesirable and lacking moral fibers.
Friends Give Good Advice
Jesus gave much good advice on many subjects ranging from the Kingdom of God to interpersonal relationships. I can only touch on a few aspects of his wisdom.
He warned us to be fearful of God who can destroy our body and our inner being.
Luke 12:4 "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
Luke 12:5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
On a social level, he showed how humility gains more than self-promotion.
Luke 14:10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.
He explained that giving to those who could not return the favor showed real love and generosity.
Luke 14:12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.
Luke 14:13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,
Luke 14:14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
And, finally, Jesus advocated friendship, for he is an expert on the subject.
Luke 16:9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
Luke 16:10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Luke 16:11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
Friends of Our Liege Lord
Our friendship with Jesus compares to the loyalty a knight shows to his lord. But, the lord values the knights friendship and companionship, as well. How do we show loyalty to Jesus? We do so by our wholehearted determination to do what Jesus wants us to do, in the way he wants it done.
Jesus explains in John:
John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
John 15:17 This is my command: Love each other.
The Greek for friend here is philos:
Strong's reference number: 5384
Definition: prop. dear, i.e. a friend; act. fond, i.e. friendly (still as a noun, an associate, neighbor, etc.)
Jesus Is Our Oldest Brother
How is he our brother? Well, he is the first born of our Father notice He is Our Father, not only Jesus. If we both have the same Father in heaven, then we are all children, and, therefore, brothers and sisters.
Rom 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. [NIV]
This close family relationship helps us to understand how near Jesus is to us when we need him, or just to be around him. As the oldest brother, Jesus acts in locus parentis, in the place of Our Father often times. To know God is to know Jesus, and to know Jesus is to know God, because he imitates God just as we should.
Eph 5:1 Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.
Jesus showed us how to relate to God, and just as many siblings learn from the oldest in the family, we, too, copy the way Jesus acted toward God. We learn at the feet of our brother by studying the gospel and trying to do things the way he did.
1Jo 3:10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
Finally, Jesus showed us how we will look after the resurrection because we will look like him in all the glory God gave him.
Mat 17:1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
Mat 17:2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.
When we think about it, our special relationship with Jesus is one of love. With his example and what he has become for us, we ought to love one another.
Eph 5:2 and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.