Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings.
John 6:68; Philippians 3:10.
When I was an adolescent I once met a church dignitary who knew the Bible well. For him, however, it was nothing more than a cultural document. If one questioned him about Jesus, he could explain that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, that He grew up in Nazareth and that He died in Jerusalem. But he didn’t really know Jesus any more than he could discern the implications of a life dedicated to Christ. His case is far from unique. There are many religious men and women who are constantly deepening their knowledge of the Bible, but getting further and further away from true faith.
Knowing Jesus goes much further than an acquaintance of the Bible. Knowing Jesus is in the first place believing in Him, recognizing that He is God, the Son of God who became Man. It is believing that He died in our stead, but that He now lives in God’s presence. This initial faith permits us to enter into a relationship with Him.
Like any relationship, it must be cultivated, which implies spending time with Him by praying and reading the Bible, not as an intellectual study, but as a living Word given by God. The Bible helps us to know our Saviour better and to love Him more. God calls on us to live in fellowship with His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:9). Living in fellowship with Him is believing in His love and wishing to please Him fully (cf. Colossians 1:10). It is ever seeking to learn to know Him even better as a living Saviour.