When I was a child my family seldom went to church. Once, however, when I was in the third or fourth grade, we visited a Presbyterian church a few times.
One Sunday, when I was attending Sunday school there, the teacher asked the class: “If you could meet any person from history, who would you like to meet?” Kids were giving answers like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.
When the teacher asked me, I said: “Jesus Christ.” She politely acknowledged my answer and then continued to solicit more responses. The misleading and false implication: Jesus is just like any other historical figure and cannot be experienced in the present.
When I was in high school my family began attending another Presbyterian church and Sunday school regularly. The high school class teacher was almost always 10-15 minutes late so most of the 6 or 7 kids in the class would enthusiastically talk about their experiences of partying and getting drunk the night before.
Once the teacher arrived, he would begin to read the lesson in a very dull, uninterested, and apathetic manner, boring us all. The misleading and false implication: getting drunk and deceiving your parents is cool; the Bible and spiritual things are dull and boring.
When I was a freshman in college I actually encountered a person from history, Jesus Christ. For 40 1/2 years now, He has walked and talked with me, challenged me, supported me, and kept me passionately in love with Him. I was so excited that the first Sunday that I was back at my high school church, I went into all the classrooms and wrote; “Jesus is alive,” on all the blackboards. After church, I went back to all the classrooms and my message had been erased from every one of them.
I think most of us in the Western world have been mislead by Sunday school and by religious Christianity to believe that Jesus is mainly just a historical figure and has little relevance for our daily lives. Sad.
This morning I started reading the book, I Am With You Always — True Stories of Encounters with Jesus, by G. Scott Sparrow, a psychotherapist. His book contains dozens of testimonies from people who have personally encountered Jesus.
Dr. Sparrow made a statement that challenges the misleading and false implications about Jesus that many of us have been taught: ‘Christ can be experienced as directly and as personally today as when He walked the earth two thousand years ago.”
Here is the truth that shattered the misleading I received as a child: Jesus Christ is alive, active, and present in our world and you can encounter Him and personally get to know Him!