When I was at beach mission one year, there was a man there who didn’t believe in God and rejected all things God. He had one of the most profound insights about Jesus that has stayed with me.
His wife was a Christian and was involved with the beach mission, so he came down to simply watch and see what it was all about. I got the feeling he didn’t approve of it and he was very skeptical about it all.
He spent the majority of time sitting under a tree with a book, while we did our mission thing in the park – running a program for families with stories, songs, drama, games and craft. I think 50% of his time was spent reading and the other 50% of the time he was watching us interact with the campers in the park.
One of the books he was reading was called, “The Case for Christ.”
It’s a book by an atheist who became a Christian through his legal cross-examination type journalistic research into the historical Jesus. The author went through a ton of historical evidence about why it was credible to believe in the biblical accounts of Jesus.
Now this man read this book and he couldn’t seem to fault it,
but it didn’t convince him of anything.
Because he said from what he could see of the Christians on the beach and in the park, the book had good points, but really it had nothing to do with belief in Jesus. He thought the book missed the point, because when he looked at what us Christians were doing, all he could see was that it was a relational thing.
We weren’t on the beach telling people all the evidence for Jesus or why they should believe in him because of the historical evidence. We were simply loving campers and valuing our relationship with them, and sharing about our relationship with Jesus.
This man saw what Jesus was about. Not from a book or historical evidence. But from relationship.
He saw that Jesus was about relationship.
And this man who was against God could see this. He saw it when I, the Christian, didn’t.
He was completely right. You can have all the evidence and facts you want, but they stand for nothing in the end.
It’s through relationship that we get to know Jesus. It’s through relationship that we know he’s real. And it’s relationship that Jesus wants.
B & J