Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Jesus of History, Christ of Faith

Who is Jesus? How do you know Him?  
Where do you begin when you try to introduce Jesus to others?

History provides us with one pathway towards an understand of who Jesus was.  Through the eyewitness accounts of Jesus life by the gospel writers we learn about His birth, ministry, where He went, what He said and how He lived His life.  The historical Jesus reveals selective and interpretive facts and events from the perspective of those who journeyed with Him.  This is a reflective discovery of past events, but is that all there is to knowing the person Jesus?

On the other hand...

Faith provides us with another pathway towards an experience of who Jesus is.  Through an encounter with Christ, the anointed One of God, we gain a revelation of the living God who transcends history through the continuing presence of the Spirit of Christ who lives within us through faith.  The Christ of faith invites a response to not just who Jesus was in history but through who Jesus is today.  A knowledge of the Jesus of history is not enough on its own.  It lays the foundation for a transforming encounter with the Christ of faith.

To have an experiential knowledge of God that is life changing, there must be a connection between the Jesus of history and the Christ of faith.  "What is important is what happens now! It is not who 'was' Jesus, but who 'is' Jesus and who you can become through Him, now." (David McGregor)

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