Summary: Knowing Jesus is fundamental to your relationship with the Father.
Knowing Jesus Impacts Your Relationship with God
August 31, 2002
Knowing Jesus has an incredible impact on your relationship with yourself. We looked at that a few weeks back, and, from what I’ve heard in comments, what we looked at was very helpful to a lot of you. That’s great and I hope it continues to be that. You are not junk, but are a very special and significant child of God and need to look at yourself that way, even as God does. You have to take the responsibility to bring your thoughts into proper captivity to Jesus, so that you’ll be viewing yourself appropriately.
Knowing Jesus has an incredible impact on your relationship with those significant people who share life with you. So often, we bite and devour one another, but this ought not to be. The responsibility lies with you to improve your relationships with others. As a Christian, you are the one to take the first step, and the second, and the third, toward those better relationships.
Knowing Jesus has an incredible impact on your relationship with God. However, in this case, you’re not the one upon whom the responsibility lies for the first step- for second and third steps, likely, but not for the first. In fact, it is only through Jesus that you and I can have a relationship with God.
Notice something that we are told in Hebrews 4. 14-16- Because of Jesus we have some ready access to God. This tells us that without Jesus, we wouldn’t. So we have to appreciate that knowing Jesus has a major- major- impact on our relationship with God. Jesus is pivotal- key- central- to that relationship for us today. Without Him, there would be no relationship between you and God.
So, what’s a high priest for anyway? He was one who acted on behalf of the people, in the OT tabernacle system- seen most notably in the ceremony of the ancient Day of Atonement- Lev. 16. But notice where a high priest has to come from:
Heb. 5. 1-5- he comes from the people, and is able to identify with the people. Think about our High Priest, Jesus. He came here and lived entirely as a person. He experienced what we experience. He grew up in a village and learned the family business. He had to help with meals and cleanup, with housecleaning and caring for any animals the family owned. He was polite to the adults who came into the family home, and did as his parents directed. He never got sick, but he was well aware of the childhood sicknesses of friends, and he felt some of their hurt. What you and I lived in our growing up, Jesus lived. As an adult, He understood the range of emotions that we can feel- He was ridiculed and revered, put down and lifted up- all just like you and me. He walked where and as we walk in our lives. He’s been in our shoes. A high priest HAD to be someone who had been in our shoes- He didn’t have to have done everything anyone might have done- that would be impossible- there’s not time in one life to make all mistakes. (Saw an interesting plaque, though, in a restaurant in Saskatoon- it said ‘some mistakes are too much fun to only make once’.) He had to be able to ‘feel’ for the people- to empathize- not to be ‘above’ the people. Empathy draws people to someone- our guest speaker at Conference was Phil Zylla- and he drew people to him. He had 17 years of pastoral experience, as well as several years of teaching pastors, through the seminary in which he now is. He has a 10 year old daughter with a very serious ailment. His tears were genuine, at many points of his day-long presentation, and it helped a lot of us to have genuine tears, too- something that can be so very healing. We are NOT drawn to someone who seems to be perfect and have everything together. Although Jesus was perfect and had everything together, He didn’t come across that way. He drew people to Himself- which is the way He said it would be: