There is no other figure in world history quite like Jesus. If just take a second to consider the impact of this man, and he truly was a man, you really can’t find a comparison. Outside of scripture there is startlingly little historical evidence for Jesus. There are certainly Roman records of Christians, but as far as eye witness accounts of the man. . . very little. Josephus, and ancient Jewish historian, mentions Jesus as a miracle worker, but makes no mention of his teaching, and gives no physical description of Jesus at all.
So where does this leave us? Well, if anything, it underlines how extraordinary God’s plan of salvation really was and is. Jesus, God Himself, comes down to earth. Takes the form of humanity, is born and lives a normal life. So normal that in scripture even, there is no mention of the first 30 years (apart from birth and the time that he got lost in the temple) Then, boom! At age 30 he explodes out into the world . . .and still nobody really notices except his disciples, and the crowds that followed. But outside of his little area of the world, everyone misses it. His life shows us a humility, challenges us with humility, that is so contrary to human nature as to seem almost absurd. And yet, this life is the one we are called to imitate more than any. An extraordinary, yet humble life.
So great was his humility that he, who was God, humbled himself even to death on a cross for our sin. Seriously. That is the life we are called to imitate. It is hard for me to even get my head around, but the ultimate work of Christ was his death and Resurrection, and I am called to the same. To die to myself and to live in his Resurrection. Life in his victory. It is a pretty awesome thing.
And yet there is more. This Jesus, who lived 2000+ years ago, still lives today. The historical record attests to this as well. This man, who in life was hardly noticed, in his Resurrection changed the world. He did not just live, he changed life. Check the history books. After the Resurrection, Jesus is everywhere. It is impossible to imagine the world without the Jesus and the impact of Christianity. What does that tell us? Well, it lets us know that this man, who is God, this Jesus did not just die and resurrect and disappear. He calls to the world still. And not just to the “world” but to you and me personally.
This field guide is a little different, and you can’t just do in in one sitting. It will take at least a month, and maybe more. The challenge this month is to get to know Jesus. To give him permission to come into your life in a real way. And here is how it will work.
Each day for the next 30 days read the gospel. You can pick anyone you want. Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Split it up into 30 days of reading. Don’t just do it all at once. Each day you are going to set 30 minutes to this task, but please do not read for 30 minutes. Read a small amount (about 5 to 10 minutes worth), and then for the next 20 or so minutes meditate on what you read. I don’t mean the “HMMMMMM” kind of meditation. I mean the just sit and ponder kind. Invite Jesus to reveal Himself to you through the words. Imagine yourself there, in the story. Imagine the setting, and ask Christ to help you enter into what you are reading. In short, take the time to get to know Jesus through His word. You may find that this time becomes a conversation with Jesus with the Gospels as a starting point.
After at least 30 days, come back and fill out the form below. Hopefully, after 30 days you will feel a desire to keep going, and I really encourage you to do so. To read through all four Gospels this way. I have to say, am pretty excited for the adventure you are about to go on, and I look forward to hearing back from you in 30 days. Christ’s Peace be with you. I am praying for you on this Journey.
Make sure you fill out the form below the day you begin this field guide. Your repsonse to this first form will be time and date stamped in order to verify your completion 30 day later.