Living with Jesus
By David C. Cook III
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Did you ever wish that you could really live with Jesus Christ and His disciples? Did you ever yearn to travel with the Lord on His journeys through the Holy Land telling the Good News; healing the sick and performing acts of loving kindness just for Him?
I have often wondered if I could be a better Christian if I had lived during the time of Christ and shared His companionship along with His disciples. What a magnificent spiritual experience this would be to meet the Master face to face during His ministry here on earth and be one of His followers! The sense of nearness to Him would be experienced in every facet of my being. The love flowing through the Master's heart would uplift me to new heights of spiritual ecstasy.
Fantasizing my experience with Jesus in the Holy Land, I saw myself sitting at His feet along with the rest of His followers, listening to His words of wisdom. I was uplifted by His stories, parables, beatitudes and prayers; inspired by His Presence. Together Jesus and I encountered one person after another plagued with disease, with poverty, with psychotic illness. Jesus did the healing. But I was always present with Him, caring for the details; leading a crippled man to His side; placing a wet cloth on the fevered brow; explaining experiences of healing to a small son or daughter who could not understand. No talk or personal discomfort was too much for me - because I was serving the Master. His Presence dominated all and preserved all. So strong were my feelings and convictions of' belonging to Him and serving Him that nothing else mattered. I was consumed with a transcendent power.
After these "experiences" with Jesus I would almost always have a period of deep communion with Him which made me more keenly aware of the realities of present day living to which I must return. I saw my life and goals in a new perspective. As He and I would look together at the problems I faced they would assume a new meaning because of His divine presence. Sometimes He and I would laugh together about a tragic fear that I had thought possessed me. He would reveal to me that my fear was only an expression of my lack of faith, my insecurity and self-seeking. When we wiped the selfish desires away the fearful thoughts would vanish. How like a small child I had been. Then I could see Jesus looking at me with an amusing smile on His face. Sometimes we would laugh aloud together in the midst of my confusion. Later He restored me to maturity through a uniting prayer to our Father.
It is strange how I went through these periods of fantasy in my devotional life. All I know with certitude is this practice made a profound impression on me. It helped me to face situations of discouragement, anxiety, and illness in the light of Christ's love. Oftentimes it filled my days with deep feelings of Christian love toward everyone I knew or met.
So I have recreated some of these adventures with Jesus in the book that follows. I will try to be as true to Scriptural accounts as possible and as true to the culture of the Jewish people as my understanding will allow. Following each adventure with Jesus we will have a period of prayer together with Him. I can see that these worship periods will be particularly important to us - you and I. They will bring our visits with Jesus home to us where we are living right now today. I, the author, and you, the reader, will be the "two or more gathered in His name." Christ will be in our midst.
So now I am going to turn back the wheels of time and space for almost two thousand years, to be with Jesus in the Holy Land. I go as a pilgrim seeking spiritual recovery. You shall share with me in this dynamic spiritual pilgrimage.
Copyright 2000 Bruce L. Cook