There is only one way to really get to know Jesus, and that is to live exactly like Him!
How do you really get to know someone?
Have you ever gone on a long trip with someone, maybe a friend you thought you knew well when you began? Then maybe you’ve also found that you know that same friend in a completely different way after the trip. What you experienced together brought you even closer together. You have even more in common.
When people share moments, big or small, they are connected by invisible bonds. That is exactly how I can get to know Jesus better! I can share many personal experiences with Him. If I want to, I can have a whole life in common with Him.
Jesus and I
There is only one way I can really get to know Jesus: by living the same life that He did. That means that I have the same goal that He had – to live a life free from sin. My goal should be to change from someone who reacts in a bad way, in words, deeds or thoughts - to someone who is filled with goodness in all situations. My goal is godly nature, as we read in 1 Peter 1:4.
When that is my goal, I talk to Him. “Jesus, I know that I am weak! Often when I’ve done something good, I’m tempted to say something so that I get honour or praise for it. Even though I’ve decided to live only for God, I’m still tempted to live for people!” Then Jesus answers, “Dear friend, I know exactly how you feel! I’ve been there, I was also tempted to be proud and seek the praise and honour of people. But every temptation, every thought can be overcome with power from God. So don’t give in, don’t give up! It’s going to succeed for you too!”
Jesus doesn’t just act like He understands what we go through. He knows. He has experienced it. He knows exactly what it costs to say No to your own will in the moment, as it is says in Hebrews 4:15 (CEV), “Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin!” When I do the same, I get a special connection with Jesus.
Paul said in Philippians 3:10 (NIRV), “I want to know Christ better. I want to know the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings. I want to become like him by sharing in his death.”
I can’t share His physical death, but I can share in His death over sin. The contact between us gets stronger and stronger when I put sin to death just like He did. (2 Corinthians 4:10.) I get to know Jesus through these battles to stop sinning.
When it feels heavy and difficult, I can encourage myself by thinking that Jesus has been in the same type of situations, and that if I faithfully resist sin until it dies, I have stopped with this sin, as it says in 1 Peter 4:1 that “he who suffers in the flesh has ceased from [stopped with] sin”. Then I become more and more like Jesus. And I become happy!
I need God’s help and guidance to live like Jesus
When Jesus was tempted to sin, when He realised that He was tempted to think impure thoughts, for example, He never gave in to those temptations. But He still needed something more in order to say No to those thoughts – to say No to His own will and desires in those situations. He needed to hear what His Father said in order to find what to do, as we read in John 5:30. God Himself showed Him what to do when He was tempted so that He always overcame in every situation.
It is written in Hebrews 9:14 that Jesus offered Himself in the power of an eternal Spirit. It was through this power that He could say No to sin every time He was tempted. On the day of Pentecost, about 2000 years ago, He sent the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to the earth to lead us and give us strength. If I want to live like Jesus, I need the Holy Spirit. But how do I get the Holy Spirit in my life?
The answer is simple: I need to pray to receive the Spirit. I need to be wholeheartedly converted, and I need to long with all my heart to follow Jesus and to live for Him. He gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him, as it says in Acts 5:32. God gladly gives Him to me! There is nothing He wants more than that I overcome sin. And the Spirit will give me power so that I can do and give whatever it costs to be worthy of Jesus. (Acts 1:8.)
I can read about Jesus. I can pray to Jesus. I can think about Jesus. But there is only one way to really get to know Him – by being obedient and living like Jesus.