I think that nature teaches us something simple and profound.
Like snow, wind and rain, truth must be encountered before it can be understood.
For example, you can know that snow exists but have never physically encountered it.
I can attest to this as a native Floridian. Therefore, I don’t fully understand how to live and cope with snow as well as someone, say, who grew up in Syracuse, New York - which averages more than 103 inches of snowfall annually.
Experiencing something adds a new level of depth and intimacy that just “knowing” of it does not allow.
Likewise, spiritually, how can you know, intimately, the true and living God you have never encountered?
How can you encounter Him unless He reveals Himself? Unless He makes a way for you to reach Him?
Jesus is brilliant.
First century speakers were acclaimed not by the number of books they wrote…but by the crowds they attracted.
Not by sophistication or complexity of speech - but by word choice, vivid metaphors and gross exaggerations.
Stories that could be felt before they were understood. Each revealing something not said outright. Something that required the listener to truly think.
Jesus is a wordsmith.
Every word spoken was particular, exact. Every word spoken revealed truth. Down to the letter.
When crowds listened to Him they marveled at His teaching ability, His authority and how concise His illustrations were in context with their everyday lives…it was unprecedented.
Never before seen.
Thousands gathered to listen - to hear this profound, radical speaker and healer. To see Him. To touch Him.
To encounter Him.
And with this, I quote one of Jesus’ most radical, particular and incredibly consequential claims that should not be looked over but given much scrutiny.
A memorable response to a rhetorical question from the Jewish doubters:
"So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.”
Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple.”
Wow. Jesus said He is I AM. He spoke truth - they heard blasphemy.
"Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’
Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel,
‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
Jesus is God.
Selah. Really think about that. Meditate on that.
This has radical consequences.
Jesus is alive.
A resurrected Christ not only provides a surety of salvation but an affirmation of the identity of Jesus Christ and the affirmation of the Scriptures.
It all rest on the resurrection. Did He rise from the grave?
Most assuredly so.
New age pop-culture culture aims to crush, assail and pervert the idea of truth, faith and ,oddly,the identity of Jesus.
Surprised? Don’t be.
We live in a world flooded with darkness and the poison of sin and perversity - and we’ve all swam in it, choked and died.
Our culture echoes the proclamation of esteemed philosopher Friedrich Nietsche: “God is Dead.”
Nietsche is dead. God is not.
God demonstrated His love for you by, prescriptively, giving a piece of HIMSELF for you.
Jesus is our portion from God. Grab hold and live again.
Pray to encounter this true and living God.