The Right Relationship

It is common to hear the phrase “personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Who knows who coined it first; it certainly has gotten a lot of mileage. In the “me-centered” culture that has flourished in the western world, it is little wonder that phrase has had so much usage. I wonder though, when I hear it in various circles, exactly what kind of relationship is meant? Surely this is the biggest question—how do we relate to Jesus Christ?

I can think of many ways our relationship to Jesus is portrayed in the Scriptures:

  • Master and servant

  • Teacher and disciple

  • Savior and sinner

  • Lord and subject, King and subject

  • Elder brother and younger sibling

  • Bride and bridegroom

  • Shepherd and sheep

  • Vine and branches

You are probably thinking of some others by now. We, of course, could speak of a covenant relationship too. But looking at that list, what strikes you about these descriptions? Certainly the primacy of Jesus, and His ultimate authority stands out; so does our dependence upon Him. A sheep with no Shepherd is lost; a servant with no Master is going to go hungry; a disciple with no Teacher cannot progress.

It seems all too easy for us to get our relationship out of order, to the point where