In my quest to know Jesus better, I have come to the simple conclusion that reading the Gospels regularly and trying to put His teachings and example into practice is the easiest and most accessible way to do that. So for the last few years, I’ve been reading a devotional that features a text from the Gospels for every day of the year. If I thought I already knew the Gospels well, this exercise completely ousted that idea! Almost every day, I am surprised, unsettled, convicted, inspired, and moved by the words and deeds of the Master.
The parables Jesus told and the episodes of His life reveal that He is surprising, He is comforting, He shakes our preconceived ideas, He doesn’t pull His punches, and He continually defies our set positions. Jesus speaks the truth in love, He doesn’t show favoritism, He is compassionate—but at the same time, He upholds the highest standards. Jesus is tough, but at the same time His yoke is easy and His burden is light.1
Pausing to reflect on how the passages from the Gospel can be related to my own life has been a key. As my wife says, “Within the teachings of Jesus you can find the basis of all ethics. Following them is just good sense.” I find that as I prayerfully read the Gospels, I tend to find Him more in my daily dealings. And as I know Him better, I certainly want to talk more about Him to others.
The last page of each issue of Activated features the “From Jesus with love” section, which is a favorite of many readers. I’ve found that reading these also helps me to draw closer to Jesus and listen to His voice on topics that are relevant to our day and age.
In knowing Jesus better, I draw closer to God the Father, because through Jesus, we have access to God and share the same intimacy that Christ has with His Father. “Then you will know that I am one with the Father. You will know that you are one with me, and I am one with you.”2
Once you become aware that the main business that you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place of their own accord.—J.I. Packer (b. 1926)
1. See Matthew 11:28–30.
2. John 14:20 CEV