When I was in my senior year of Bible college at Urshan, I distinctly remember sitting in my professor’s office and weeping as I gave my presentation on Christology. I had just finished a whole semester of diving deeply into who Jesus was and is, yet to try and break it down into theological bits was more than I could handle in those moments. I told him I still did not understand the deep aspects of it all, but my goal was just to know Jesus- truly know Him without all the pomp and circumstance. I just wanted real Jesus sitting in front of me, a real person with real flaws and real questions. I desired to know my Savior, my Father, my Friend in a way the theology books could never teach me.
“For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2).
“Knowing,” according to Webster’s Dictionary, is defined as “having a practical understanding of something or thorough experience with.” It also means “to be subject to or to believe something to be true by recognizing something that was previously known.” True knowledge comes with experience and is understood personally.
Don’t get me wrong, all the other stuff is important too. I love to hear a good debate on doctrine but lately, I am enjoying the stripping away of all of that and getting back to the basics. Just give me Jesus.
Accurately understanding that something is real does not come simply because someone was told to believe in that manner. Many times people credit doctrines and ideas merely because it has been taught and traditionalized over such a long period of time. There is often little to no thought put into how or why it is being done. Along with this, the way people explain and promote things such as theology and the Godhead has become very much wisdom- and authority-based teaching.
At the end of the day, what are people trying to accomplish with their studies, words, and deliberations? Through all of the facts and figures, what is the message being conveyed? Have we become so numbed by tradition that we have forgotten the key point of why Jesus came?
My devotion to Him is much like the Apostle Paul’s in the first book of Corinthians. I cannot debate with the highly educated. I am unable to explain in detail the things that theologians can. There is no wisdom in me that can contribute to the writings of commentaries or doctrinal word studies. I do not have all the answers to all of life’s questions, but I know one thing for certain. I rest in the raw, unabashed message that is too often overlooked.
Though it may seem juvenile and naïve, this alone is my hope, and this is the sustaining message by which I stand. Just like the words of the old song make a declaration: “I will cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies, at last, I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it someday for a crown.” There is nothing more Christological than this. This is why He came, and here lies the fundamental conclusion; if I know nothing else all of my days, I will cleave to the beauty of simply knowing Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Let me leave you with this simple question. Do you know Jesus, or do you just know about Him?
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos, and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She is pursuing her master’s degree in counseling and human services and is currently serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.