Personal Relationship
with Jesus? Hah!

Before we dig into the meat of this article, let's discuss characteristics of 'personal relationships'?

  • When you have a personal relationship with someone, you recognize each other's voice over the phone before they identify themselves.
  • You also recognize their handwriting.
  • You share each other's feelings & hopes.
  • You spend time playing together.
  • You provide mutual emotional support for each other, as needed.
  • You tolerate imperfections in each other.
  • You communicate w/ gestures in addition to words ("That look")
  • You spend time together without much concern over what, if anything, is getting done.
  • You require interaction. It is not a very personal relationship if the communication back-and-forth between the people isn't personal.
  • Mass market communication is not personal. Something written to 'everyone' is not personal.
  • The two of you share things that other people don't know, nor would understand.

Again, before we dig into the title, let's discuss getting to know someone who is dead. For example, if you want to study a great person from hundreds of years ago, read their writings and writings about them. George Washington, Martin Luther, Augustine, Homer, Buddha, Aristotle, Mohammed & Moses among literally countless others fall into this category. Which means if there aren't many writings available, you don't have much of a chance to get to know them.

That brings us to the main point of this article: If you want to get to know someone who is dead, read and read about them. But if you want to have a "personal relationship" with someone, do all you can to spend time with them. There is a big difference in how we act toward the person in question.

The "Hah" in the title addresses the fact that many modern-day Christians treat Jesus the same way, acting as if reading the Bible is the best and only access to God! They do this while emphasizing the importance of a "personal relationship" with Him, they never get personal with Him!

You don't establish a personal relationship with someone who is alive and in your neighborhood by only reading about them. You must spend time interacting with them! Yet, many treat Jesus as if He was dead, and not available for one-on-one communication!

Yet, the "Good News" is that He is alive!

How personal is a relationship with no verbal communication? Years ago, when I went out to sea for 6 months, my wife and I read each other's letters. Over 100 letters in all. They were and still are, very personal letters! Yes, I still have those letters in a box, over 20 years later! But, when I returned to her presence, well, let's just say we got more personal than just reading, got it?

  • Moses (murderer),
  • Abraham (liar, coward),
  • Jacob (deceiver) and
  • David (adulterer and murderer)

are all pillars of the Old Testament. They probably never read a single verse of scripture on their own. Yet, they were considered righteous and today sit in heaven, because they had a personal (2-way, verbal conversations) relationship with God!

Read one of David's letters to God, now called "Psalm 139", to see how close they were!

Also, don't forget that Saul, one of the most honored and respected Pharisees, had studied scripture his whole life, and based on what he understood of scripture was prosecuting Christians to their deaths until he heard Jesus speak to him on the road! Only then was he able to truly understand Jesus and had his name changed to Paul! Check it out for yourself in the book of Acts!

Are you better than Saul? Can you really grasp the Living God by reading alone? If so, great, and highly unusual, too.

Jesus also stressed the critical importance of a 'personal' relationship with Him, in His analogy rejecting the foolish young women by saying, "Truly I say to you, I do not know you."
(Matthew 25:12) Unless I understand that line of His in the context of a personal relationship, it makes no sense to me. Jesus did not say, "I do not know about you"!

Reading the Bible is critically important, I re-read it the same way I re-read my wife's love letters. My "personal" relationships with both authors are much more important.

No Jesus, no love, know hell.
Know Jesus, know love, no hell.

Make a personal decision to get closer to Jesus. I did, back on July 4th, 1978. To improve your personal relationship with Him, do what you would do to grow any personal relationship! For those that want some more detailed help, and enjoy reading books, I recommend the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. Even more powerful is the workbook "Knowing and Doing the Will of God" by the same author.

Most of all I recommend asking God to help you to get to know Him. "This is humanly impossible, but with God, all things are possible."