Almost everyone I know claims to know Jesus.
Not all who claim to know him also claim to follow him.
What I’m beginning to wonder is how many who claim to follow him really know him?
In Jesus’ day, some who best understood him chose not to follow him. They chose not to follow him because they knew that doing so would change them and their way of living; and having that change was not to their liking.
Some who did follow him didn’t really know him. When some of those discovered who he really was, they went their own way. Others followed until they began to understand; and having understood, they followed—many unto death.
Not all who seem to understand Jesus and to follow him seem happy about it. In fact, some of them seem to be the least happy people around.
Some who seem to understand Jesus and to follow him seem to be among the happiest and most content people I know. In many cases this is true even though their life circumstances lead me to expect them to be anything but happy and content.
What accounts the variety of ways in which people respond to Jesus?
Perhaps the happiest and the most content among us are those who heard the invitation: “Let everyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink.” Those who drink are drinking in the Spirit of God; and out of them, “will flow rivers of living water.” The “water” that flows out is the same “water” that flows in. It is the Spirit of God.
I come . . . I come, O Lord. Fill me with your Spirit . . . quench the burning thirst of my soul. Fill me, that from me the rivers of your living Spirit may flow and refresh others. Amen.