I spoke to a drunk man yesterday as I was leaving a Bible study in Mushingashi. He, of course, approached me blubbering many things. I asked him to come to the Bible study next week and he said he needs to as he is a "backslider". Then I asked him if he knew Jesus. He responded, "Yes, he is my redeemer". I responded if you really knew Jesus you wouldn't be drunk like this and "backslidding". After I said that I continued home on my hour bike ride through the bush. As I was riding, I could not help but reflect on my statement to him regarding my own life. I spend many hours studying the Bible and learning about Jesus, but do I really know him? You could ask me almost anything about who Jesus is and I can tell you. However, in that same day I could criticize someone, or speak harshly to my wife, or neglect to show love to someone in a conversation. If I really know Jesus, how could I still be battling sin? How could I have a selfish bone in my body? It was easy for me to see that drunk man and many others here in Zambia who know stuff about Jesus, but recognize that they don’t really know him. However, do I really know him or do I just know about him? Jesus says, “if you love me, you’ll keep my commandments.” What are those commandments? Where is the law written down so we can follow them(a common question among the Kaonde people)? How can I know and come to love Jesus and how will that be shown through my life?
Whitney and I are beginning a study through the Beattitudes and would encourage anyone who would like to study that along with us to do so. I believe there are some key principles that will help me actually know Jesus and not just know about him in these teachings. Hopefully, our journey through getting to know Jesus through the Beattitudes will encourage you as well. -Jeremy