Why It Isn’t Enough to Know the Bible; You Must Know the Word

What good does it do us if we know the Bible but don’t know the Word—Jesus. Not just know about Jesus but really, personally, practically know him? One can be at church every time the doors are open and still not relate in a personal way with Jesus. Actually, I know from my own experience that one can literally have the keys to the church and be able to open the doors whenever you like and still not fellowship with Christ.

John 5:39-40, NIV

In John 5:39–40, Jesus is making this same point to the religious leaders of his day. They knew all the rules, traditions, and could quote the Scriptures like nobody’s business. But they did not have the love of God in their hearts. They had a religion but they didn’t have a relationship with God.

If you can quote the Bible and have all the church traditions and rules down pat, but you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, you are missing out on the abundant life he offers. That’s because Jesus is not a religion but a person. You don’t have a relationship by knowing about a person; you have a relationship by knowing a person, personally.

So, how do you get to know Jesus and develop an intimate friendship with him?

We get to know Jesus much the same as we do anyone else.

Getting to Know Someone

Virtually every intimate bond is forged through some form of the following process:

  1. Learn of the person through their reputation and what others say about them.
  2. Get an introduction. Perhaps a mutual friend or acquaintance introduces you. Or maybe you introduce yourself or the other person introduces themselves to you.
  3. Talk, listen, share ideas, questions, and stories from your lives and explore areas where you have things in common. You then discover the person has experienced things similar to what you struggle with and has wisdom to share about how to navigate the rough road in ways that you might never have known.
  4. Spend time with each other and see how the person responds in and to situations. With time and experience, you learn that you can depend on them; they are trustworthy.
  5. Face opposition or crisis and discover they stand firm with you no matter the cost. You know they’ve got your back!
  6. Grow in affection and ultimately love for the person.
  7. Make sacrifices for the good of the relationship and the one you love; not because you have to according to some rule but because you want to because you love them.
  8. When you are with the other person, there is no agenda, just love. You want to be with them because you love them and love being with them.

I found it works much the same way with Jesus; except he already knows you better than you know yourself. So, no need to gussy yourself up and put your best foot forward. You can just be yourself—your real self—right from the start. Afterall, the real you is exactly who he wants to love. However, I also discovered that my bond with Jesus changes me in the best of ways.

Do you have this kind of relationship with Jesus? Would you like to? You can! Click here for more information about how to have that kind of relationship with Jesus.

If you already have an intimate connection with him, how do you nurture the relationship? I’ve found if I begin taking my relationship with Christ for granted and just go through the motions, it atrophies. Just as I must be intentional about nurturing my bond with my husband, Matt, I must also be intentional about caring for my relationship with God. Prioritizing time together doing things that are enjoyable, meaningful, and fruitful is essential.

Simple Ways to Connect with Jesus

Yes, send me the cheat sheet!

How about you?What helps you nurture your relationship with Christ? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

I hope you'll jump into the conversation by leaving a comment. I would love for each post to be like a dinner party conversation in which many people participate, each adding their own perspectives and ideas. Just keep in mind that we want to treat others as we would like to be treated, so please keep your comments constructive and on topic. Feel free to post viewpoints and ideas that differ from mine or others but refrain from personal attacks or offensive language. I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or which demean or belittle another member of the Making It Real community.

  • Pete A.

    Well done. Yery thoughtfully and sensitively written.

    As for me. I’ve always used Bible reading, prayer, and obedience as my keys. But my wife, who only became a Christian about a year before I met her, passed me in what seemed no time at all. She seemed to just have the ability to sense Jesus as a real Person and a friend, and to matter-of-factly believe that if He said she could do something, she could, and it would happen. She never tried to move a mountain (that I know of), but she did reason that any rainstorm that tried to strand us in the back country was much lighter than a mountain, and that she could certainly pray it to go away. And she did, MANY times, despite my first reaction of “but…but…you can’t just DO that!” (This ftom a supposedly committed Christian.) And around 5 or so years ago she was out walking with a friend who had cervical cancer, when Yvonne just laid a hand on the friend’s stomach and guietly prayed for her. Every test since? No cancer. And I think her key is just a complete, simple acceptance that Jesus is real and is who the Bible says He is.

    • Pete A.

      Wouldn’t be surprised if some of you reacted to this true story the same way I did when my wife announced she was going to pray that first storm away – “but…but…you can’t just DO that.” But when she did it I HAd to believe it even if I didn’t tnink there was any way I was ever going to be able to
      do it myself. (Eventually God did put me in a position where I did have to do it, and guess what? It DID work, shaky as I was!) I did have to learn to pray with authority. And to learn to never underestimate God! Will pray you all will be able to pray however you’ll need to for whatever He calls you to do.