Haaaaaave You Met Jesus?
by Eileen Slattery Berglund
HAAAAAAAVE YA MET TED? There’s a popular sitcom my husband and I watch on Hulu called How I Met Your Mother. In it, one of the main characters acts as a “wingman” to introduce his somewhat shy friend Ted to women. His go to move is to tap the woman’s shoulder and when she turns around he says “haaaaave ya met Ted?” and then he leaves them to talk.
Today, a different version of this question has been bouncing around in my mind. A version that I want to share with everyone. A version that involves me tapping each of you on the shoulder and asking, “Haaaaaaave ya met Jesus?”
I often wonder how many of you that don’t currently enjoy a relationship with Jesus have ever really “met him”. I mean, you’ve probably met people who say they represent him, or maybe you’ve read some stuff, good or bad, about him. But have you ever really gotten to know him? Not religion, not hypocrites, not mean people, not fearful people...but him. Jesus.
In a world full of people who are continually seeking peace and unity and joy and love, Jesus is often cast aside as irrelevant. Out of date. Only for the “weak”.
We humans have definitely given other humans many reasons not to believe in Jesus- I have no argument (only sadness) there. But what reason has Jesus given you not to get to know him? In what way has He personally harmed you or pushed you away? What do you think he thinks of you- because I can tell you for certain He loves you! All of you! Exactly as you are. Right now.
In case you’re still reading, let me tell you three things I really love about my friend, Jesus.
(1) He is indeed my friend. I learn this fact from reading the record of his spoken word and also I have learned this through personal experience. In a time when I couldn’t trust anyone, Jesus was there for me. He didn’t judge me, He didn’t reject me, He just loved me. He spoke words that brought me comfort and counsel and at times His presence just accompanied me. Yes, I had the written word of the Bible, but moreso I had the experiential knowing that His love for me was great and His presence was surrounding me. Noone can take that away from me. I didn’t need to do anything to earn his friendship. I didn’t have to do works or meditations or anything to earn his love and feel His peace. Unlike every other religious system or self help program, I did not have to do anything but simply receive his friendship. When I said yes to Jesus, and his friendship, love, joy, hope, and peace flooded in. What an amazing friend He is! And all of this is lasting. It’s still true today, decades later. We can never exhaust his love for us.
(2) He’s real. Okay, that may seem like a weird thing to love about someone, but it’s true. I don’t like wasting time. I’m certainly not going to spend my days talking to someone who doesn’t really exist. I’m not going to base my whole life around someone who is dead, powerless and defeated. No way.
(3) He’s relevant. There’s nothing worse than clinging to something or someone that is no longer relevant. The reason for that is because if they/it has become irrelevant, than there is nothing productive to gain from continuing along with them/it. Again, I would be wasting my time, wasting my life. With Jesus, nothing could be further from the truth. He and his way of living, his way of thinking, his way of treating others, is exactly what I need to navigate through this 21st century world of chaos, division, strife, despair, hopelessness, identity crisis, fear and pride. Jesus has answers that work across the board. As I follow him, I become a truer version of myself, a better version of myself. I become who I was created to be. This allows me to pour out goodness into the world. It allows me to bring peace into the chaos, unity into the division, peace into the strife, hope into despair, identity into confusion, courage into fear and humility into pride. By myself, I can’t do any of this, but through Jesus, I can.
Some of you may never be interested in meeting Jesus and I am okay with that. But maybe, for the rest of you, it might be time to give him another chance. My hunch is that he may have been blamed for something that was never His fault. You may be believing things about him that are just not true. Anyway, just wanted to tap your shoulder today and give you the chance to meet a great man.
*now I’ll walk away and let you two talk*