My friend, may I ask you a question today? Although knowing about Jesus and the doctrine that explains that knowledge is important, is knowing him by heart far more important than the doctrine? Is book knowledge, in essence, more important than heart knowledge?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
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Although I no longer own a classic car, I have many memories of them, especially the ones that I worked on and repaired. One such car was an older model Mercedes from the early 1960s. Overall the car was in pretty good shape. There was a little rust on the underside but nothing serious. The interior was decent. The car ran well, but had some basic issues running at higher RPMs. It was also consuming more fuel than it should have and lacked power at times. I decided that the valves needed adjustment and the timing reset. This was in the early days of the Internet so I wasn’t able to just go online and get a YouTube instructional video on how to do the work. I decided to order a shop manual through J.C. Whitney. When it came, I asked a mechanic friend of mine, Larry, to help me make the adjustments that were needed. He owned his own auto repair shop, so I was in good hands. When he arrived I got out the manual, placed it carefully on the fender and indicated we could now get to work. Larry looked at the manual and asked, “What’s that for?” I told him and he frowned, grabbed some wrenches from his toolbox and mumbled something to the effect, “ Don’t need that. I know cars like this.” He did and the work was done without ever opening the manual. I could have saved my money.
Although knowing about Jesus is important, just as knowing HOW that old Mercedes worked, knowing him by heart is far more important. Just as Larry knew timing belts and valve adjustments by heart, is it more important to know what’s taught about Jesus or what you know about him in your heart?
Here’s a thought from Oswald Chambers referring to how Mary Magdalene knew Jesus. “It is possible to know all about doctrine and yet not know Jesus. The soul is in danger when the knowledge of doctrine outsteps intimate touch with Jesus. Why was Mary weeping? Doctrine was no more to Mary than the grass under her feet. Any Pharisee could have made a fool of Mary doctrinally, but one thing they could not ridicule out of her was the fact that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her; yet His blessing were nothing in comparison to Himself. Mary ‘saw Jesus standing and knew not that it was Jesus. . . ,’ immediately she heard the voice, she knew she had a past history with the One who spoke ‘Master!’” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 16.)
Do you know Jesus like Mary did? Her knowledge was from her heart and not from a book of prophecy. Although it’s likely she knew of the messianic prophecies, she was probably not aware of the specifics of them. Mary knew Jesus by his voice and his touch. His name touched her heart. His touch overwhelmed her with humility and worship. She knew him like my friend Larry knew old cars: timing belts, valve seats, rocker arms and what an engine ought to sound like when it’s properly timed and adjusted. I’m sure that he would have used the shop manual if there was some specific he needed to know in more detail. The manual, however, was not Larry’s first resource; it was his knowledge of engines specific to years of just knowing what to do. Larry was connected to that engine and not the manual. Likewise you and I ought to be so connected to the Son of God beyond everything that has ever been written about him. We need no manual to love him.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for putting the knowledge of Christ’s love in our hearts by your Holy Spirit where it belongs. Forgive us, Lord, when we rely on words about Jesus ahead of what our heart teaches us about him. Help us Lord to know Jesus better by making him the Master of our lives. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day.
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