How do we really know Jesus?  That’s the big question.

If you read last week’s entry, you will know that my first suggestion can be summed up as follows: If you want to get to know Jesus, read the four gospels until they become part of you. Pretty straightforward.

This week’s suggestion may initially seem a little less palatable, but I stand by it nonetheless:

We know Jesus by eating Him.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus said this in John 6:53-56?

I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

That’s crazy talk.  The kind of stuff that got Jesus killed.  In fact, a few verses later, we see that many of the disciples no longer followed Jesus.  This teaching was just too weird.  But in the gospel of John, the primary metaphor Jesus uses to describe Himself is that of bread to eat and water or blood to drink.

It’s pretty clear Jesus wants us to eat and drink Him.  Not to understand what that means about Him as a point of theology, but to actually imbibe Him.  Inhale Him, So…how does that work?

I have no idea.  But, here are a couple of my best guesses:

I think we need to believe that it’s possible to have Him in us.  Really inside of us.  Believing that what Jesus asks of us is possible should always be Point Number One.  When He heard the disciples grumbling (John 6:60-64), He said that He knew some didn’t believe.  It seems there is a direct connection between eating Jesus and faith in Jesus.  Maybe they’re the same, I don’t know.

I find conscious awareness that Jesus is alive in me right now–at this moment–very helpful.  I often (sometimes several times a day) ask myself this question: If Jesus were living my life right now and He were here doing what I’m doing, would he be pleased or want to do something else?  I think that’s a better question than what would Jesus do?  We can never be sure what Jesus would do if He were here now.  We do know, however, what Jesus did.  So I think we should ask this question: Based on what Jesus did (which requires you to know that)–what would He do through me right now, since He lives in me?  Or ask it this way:

If Jesus had my life to live today, how would He live it?

*This excerpt is taken from Carl’s book, Speaking of Jesus.