There is a mystery about the Christian faith that has always intrigued me. I have heard it described in several ways. Some call it ‘head knowledge versus heart knowledge’. Others refer to it as logos vs. rhema, or the written vs. the revealed Word of God. Still others speak of knowing Jesus as opposed to knowing about him.
Whatever you call it, the latter state is far better than the former. But how does one get from point A to point B?In Luke 24 we meet several people needing to make that transition. Amazingly, they saw Jesus face to face but still did not recognize him until they had an “aha!” moment. An epiphany. It is almost comical to listen in on the conversation between Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The disciples are saying, “Wow, don’t you have a clue what happened around here?!”
Jesus is smiling to himself and saying, “Oh, that’s so interesting! Tell me all about it!”
Similarly, the apostles saw the resurrected Christ right in front of them. But even they did not recognize and believe in him immediately. This concept of hearing the Word, receiving it, then finally believing it by revelation, is how every Christian begins the walk. And we repeat it over and over again with every new Word that God brings us.
It can be maddening to share the gospel with people who nod in agreement but do not act on that Word. Why don’t they commit? Why aren’t they excited about Jesus? Why don’t they get born again?
If you have prayed for years for a loved one to come to Christ and still there is no change, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Why don’t they get it? It is because they need a revelation of Jesus. I can’t make that happen. I pray for it, I cry out to God for it, I speak when I can and zip my mouth when I must. In the end, this is a mysterious work of God and I cannot control it. I believe I can influence it with my prayers and my witness, but in the end this is that work of the Holy Spirit that is beyond my ability. I must humble myself and do what I can, bringing these people once again to the throne of grace.
So let us continue to pray until that wonderful day when they finally tell us, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42 The townspeople speaking to the woman at the well)