As I look at this beautiful landscape in Tuscany, it occurs to me that I know hardly anything about that part of the world. Looking at this photo gives me a little information. I could also read about this region of Italy or do some internet research. There are probably documentaries on Netflix that could introduce me to Tuscany. I might meet someone who is from that part of the world and get their description of it. Yet even then, I wouldn’t really know Tuscany. In order for me to really understand this region, I would need to travel and spend some time there. If I did this several times over the course of a few years, then I would be able to say that I knew Tuscany.
Knowing Jesus is a lot like this too. A person could do a lot of research on Jesus’ life – even reading the Gospels. A person could talk at length with someone who knew Jesus. A person could attend church services where people sang about Jesus. But none of that is really knowing Jesus. To know Jesus, one has to engage in a relationship with him. Jesus can’t be known objectively. We know him by walking with him through life.