My faith journey as well as the disciples and others
In 1999 I had a moment of clarity (hopefully I have had more moments since then). I remember driving under a bridge in our city and I heard these words plainly:
“What are you doing, Jan? What is this life all about?”
The radio was off. No one else was in the car.
At that point, my life started to pivot.
There was nothing wrong with my life. I lived comfortably. I had a successful loving marriage. We had 3 children, one married. I didn’t work full-time.
But there was an emptiness — of spirit
We were church “goers” — but I would say, not “hearers” and certainly not really “doers”.
I could not declare Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. So I went on a journey.
How do people come to know Jesus?
After the resurrection, when John goes to the empty tomb and sees that the grave clothes were there but there was no body — John used his intuition and all the things that Jesus had said became clear and as a logical follow through, therefore He believed.
He [John] bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple [John], who had reached the tomb first, also went inside.
He saw and believed (John 20:5–8, NIV).”
John believed because he used his intuition and made the decision based on what Jesus had said earlier.
Nowadays we can see creation and learn to see God. The following are just two of the marvels in creation.
Now and in days since creation, people have been astonished how God made this earth. Take a look at the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this marvellous display of creating a small caterpillar turns into a butterfly.
Bulbs and Seeds
The amazing germination of tiny seeds into plants. Look at the acorn as it turns into a mighty oak.
And bulbs left in the cold ground come back up in the spring. The hardy crocus.
2. Empirical or historical evidence
After Jesus’ crucifixion, Thomas missed the sighting of the Lord when He showed Himself to the disciples (John 20:19–31). But He had another chance. when he saw Jesus, Thomas was convinced.
He [Thomas] said, “My Lord and My God” (John 20:24 -29).
What about today? What evidence do we have?
There are two great writers, Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell both wrote books with evidence of the divinity of Jesus. They both wrote books with a careful investigation of the evidence.
I read Case for Christ and it was enough to make me believe. The evidence and historicity were enough to show me the truth.
3. Jesus calls us by name
When Mary sees the “gardener” in the Garden of Gethsemane, He calls her by name, “Mary”, He says. She replies with Rabonni (teacher) and she believes.
“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.”She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”) (John 20:14–16, NIV).”
This was a harder stage for me
Even though I had the evidence of Jesus in my head, my heart was still empty.
One day while meditating I asked Jesus to reveal Himself to me.
All of a sudden I felt this rushing in my head — a release, a power — a knowledge that Yes Jesus was real — very real. At that moment I fell to my knees and I knew I had met the risen Christ.
4. Sharing bread with one another
On the road of Emmaus Jesus walked with a couple of His disciples. They did not recognize Him. But they were interested. They talked to Him and even had supper with them. When Jesus broke bread, they recognized Him.
I had the pleasure to be invited to a Bible study group that met, ate and talked about Who Jesus was. We studied the Bible together. We celebrated our lives together. We ate together. I grew spiritually.
5. The Church
In the early days of the church, from the first day of Pentecost, the disciples met together, praising God. From the beginning, they bore witness to the resurrected Christ.
Peter preached on that first day and 3000+ people came to believe that day.
The disciples gave their testimonies.
“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all” (Acts 3:33, NIV).
Today we do the same. We meet together to praise, to pray and to worship God.
Being part of a church body both in my town of Haliburton and in Arizona gives me an opportunity to be with other Christians, hear testimonies and good preaching.
And as I continue to learn and grow I am thankful to God for showing me the truth.
I now truly can say this.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9, NIV).
These thoughts and reminiscing are based from a sermon heard on April 28, 2019 at Haliburton United Church, Haliburton, Canada.