But what does it look like to have the relationship when you can’t interact? I can’t have a discussion or feel a bond to someone who doesn’t talk back to me, or discuss things or embrace me, or can I? I can’t really say I have a friendship with Paul McCartney, even though I would like too-it is a 1-way street, even if I do know (or at least think I know) how he feels and thinks and what he believes. Without the interaction, what kind of connection is it really?
But for us, Jesus gives us a keystone to starting and keeping a relationship with Him. Numerous times in the Gospels, He tells us that the way to Him is through each other…that the way I interact with Jesus is the way I interact with you. And not just my minister or wife or guys I like to hang out with, but how I interact with that person that annoys me, or the not-so-popular person at school, or the atheist/agnostic/non-Christian in my life. It has little to do with me, but more to do with them.
In John 21, Jesus asks Simon Peter if he loves Him, and in response to that with a yes, Jesus tells Him "than feed my sheep". In the parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus tells us that there is a time in the end, when there will be two camps you can be in-the group who saw Jesus in the ones around us and cared for Him through them, and the ones who didn’t. The sick, the broken, the homeless and the ones truly in need around us-these people are Jesus. These individuals are the way we relate and bond to God.
When I look you in the eye-I see Jesus. And in that, I can treat you like a friend, like a person who I need and desire to love and serve. How can I see you any other way if I really yearn to be in a relationship with an Almighty God?
"If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20