|Map of readers of Truth is The Word Blog|
To encounter him this way we need to do more than just read what he said and did, we need to place ourselves into the story and seek to experience something of the reality of what was taking place. The events recorded in the Gospels happened almost two thousand years ago, yet the main character in each account, Jesus, is still very much alive and he has the ability to engage us even now as we seek to encounter him in scripture.
The idea is to read a story of how Jesus interacted with the people of his day and then to become a bystander or a participant. As you read the account try to imagine what it would be like to actually be there. See the details around you, hear the sounds and smell the scents carried on the air. In this series I am going to introduce you to this way of reading the Bible by describing some scenes as vividly as I can. At a critical moment in the story I am going to stop and ask you the question; ‘what is Jesus revealing of himself to you in this?’ A few days after publishing the post I will comment on my own answer to this question and I would be so pleased if you would also comment on what you got out of the exercise. In this way we can benefit from each other’s appreciation of Jesus.
Each of these stories gives us a unique opportunity of encountering Jesus from a particular perspective. First, we will be a man who has been a helpless invalid for 38 years and who’s only expectation of a reasonable life has been a persistent superstitious hope. In the second encounter we can see Jesus through the eyes of a shamed and terrified woman. The third story gives us the opportunity of learning something about Jesus just by hearing him and feeling his touch even though we cannot see him. Then we can be anonymous disciples in a confused crowd as thugs come to arrest Jesus. Finally, we have the opportunity of taking the place of someone in a locked room when Jesus suddenly appears and proves who he is.
My hope and expectation is that we will know Jesus a little more through these encounters, appreciate him more, and love him more.