Encounters with Jesus
From the very beginning, people have seen and witnessed the power of God in many different ways. Notable occurrences would be the Flood in Noah's time and also the plagues that God brought against Egypt preceding the Exodus of His people out of the land. In the days of Jesus, the people experienced God's power through miraculous provision and creative miracles. There are many stories in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that describe Jesus healing all kinds of diseases and even restoring the ability to hear, see, and walk.
Time and culture may have changed, but God hasn't. He is still the same miracle working God that He was two thousand years ago, and He continues to encounter people in ways that really do change their life. For people who grow up in a more Christian nation, encounters with God often seem more "standard" or "normal" but it's still incredible to think that the Creator of all things desires and pursues relationship with the beings He created. For others who grow up with no Christian witness, it is much more mind boggling when they encounter the Living God.
Whether it's someone who grew up with some level of exposure to Jesus, or someone who had never heard His name, it is suffice to say that Jesus changes everything. One encounter with Jesus can completely redefine one's purpose in life. Simon Peter is a great example of this. When Jesus first calls him and his brother, Andrew, he tells them that He will make them fishers of men and invites the pair of brothers to follow Him. They immediately obey.
And Jesus was true to His word; He would later tell Peter that, "on this rock, I will build My church." In the book of Acts, we see the crucial and foundational role that the Apostle Peter played in establishing and fathering the early church. What led him there? An encounter with the Man Jesus.
An encounter with Jesus also reveals to us the deep things in our own souls that we may not want to deal with, but truly He knows us better than we know ourselves. There's a story in the gospels that tell of four friends carrying their paralytic friend to Jesus. There was a crowd gathered in someone's home to hear His teaching and so the friends dug a hole in the roof and lowered their friend down to Jesus. Before He heals the man, Jesus tells the man that his sins are forgiven. The obvious need was that their friend needed to be able to walk again; the not so obvious need was forgiveness. Jesus freed that man not only of being crippled, He freed the man's soul.
Jesus isn't afraid of our sin and our lack; He knows why He created us and the giftings and callings He's placed on each one of our lives. Just like the parable of the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine other sheep to go after the one that was lost, Jesus consistently pursues the least, the last and the lost. One look in His kind eyes is enough to mark a person for the rest of their life.
Global Catalytic Ministries - Spreading the Message of Jesus Worldwide.