Posted by Stephen Venable

The previous post in this series focused on beholding Jesus biblically. The second general principle for moving forward in the study of the truth about Jesus is to make it personal. In this context the contrast would not be impersonal, but rather conceptual. Since our eyes cannot see Him right now, the propensity is for Jesus to subtly become a noble concept rather than a vividly real Person to our hearts and our minds. Sermons can be preached, songs can be sung, and entire books can written with many references to “Jesus” that lack a vital continuity to the glorious Identity that stands behind that name.  Detached from this eminently personal meaning, the word “Jesus” begins to function as an idea. We run about feverishly with great zeal for this abstract cause called “Jesus”, while a real Man whom we scarcely know sits on a throne in the heights of the heavens.

In our talk of Jesus, in our prayers to Jesus, in our study about Jesus we must exert much effort to keep Him before the eyes of our heart. For a number of years now I have had the privilege of teaching on themes related to the identity and the life of Christ. Yet quite frequently I experience a stinging moment of awakening when I will suddenly realize that a day or a week has passed and I have treating Jesus more like a concept than a Person.

The most normal thing to do when we come into contact with a person is to talk to them. The same is true with Christ, and in His case we simply call this prayer. Having our study of Jesus saturated in prayer ever stands as the remedy for countering the tendency for Him to degenerate into a concept in our subjective experience. This is so much the case that the post could have been titled Beholding Jesus Prayerfully. The two ideas are so tightly bound together that they are utterly inseparable. We see Him as a Person in Scripture and this causes us to pray (i.e. talk) to Him, and it is in praying that the sense of His identity is fostered.

This post is part of the series titled Jesus at the Crossroads.  If you would like to support this website and Stephen’s ministry, simply give via the paypal link on the right or click here for more information on specific needs and different ways to partner with Stephen financially.

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