It has been an exciting journey delving into God’s word with Pui Ying as we explored selected passages in John’s gospel based on the theme “Encountering Jesus”. What an insightful, inspiring journey it was. When we look hard into God’s word, we always learn something new about Jesus. It was a deeply impactful and profound experience that led me to meet with the Master himself. Encountering Jesus is real and personal.
The narratives in John’s gospel engaged not just my mind but my imagination and every sensory perception. Drawn into every scene, I was no longer a bystander or curious onlooker…there I was with the Lord. I looked at Jesus, saw him vividly, heard every word He spoke, witnessed His response in every situation…it was unforgettable.
An example, in the Palm Sunday account. Jesus’ demeanour - riding on a donkey, amidst the adulation of a crowd shouting loud Hosannas - remained calm and unruffled even as the shoutings shortly turned into mob hysteria and frenzied mindless chants of “Crucify Him“. Then there was Pilate, frustrated, flustered in his encounter with Jesus, unable to
draw Jesus into debate...”what is truth, are you a king, speak up, don’t you know I have power to free you!”… unable to intimidate, control or force a response from Jesus.
It reminds me of how Philip Yancey, in his book “The Jesus I Never Knew”, “uncovers a Jesus who is brilliant, creative, challenging, fearless, compassionate, unpredictable, and ultimately satisfying”. According to Yancey, “No one who meets Jesus ever stays the same”.
Every encounter with Jesus offered me a new and different perspective on who He was, why He came, how He relates to others, be it to an individual, group, or crowd. Jesus in all the encounters revealed to me the overwhelming truth of one simple fact - that He loved. That He loved unlovely men and women. He loved unconditionally with a love that nothing could ever defeat, nothing could ever break it down. “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end” (John 13:1)
In exploring these passages, I felt like God was reminding me to have a deeper hunger for God’s word. To know that in this present day and age, the Bible is the Living Word that takes us on a very personal journey to Jesus. And that only a radical physical encounter with Jesus can invariably bring about change, can lead me into deeper understanding of what it truly means to be a follower of Christ.
8 May 2021