(Continued from last week…)
Now herein is a marvelous thing! When Jesus asked His disciples who they thought He was, and Peter boldly declared, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus enlightened them all, by saying to Peter:
“…flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Mark 8: 27-29; Matthew 16: 13-17).
In other words, the Lord is saying: Peter, you don’t know I’m the Christ just because you’ve been with me all this time. You don’t know because of all that you’ve seen me do and heard me say. You know, because you’ve received something more.
Think of it…Peter had a multitude of “flesh and blood” experience…he was in the process of a three-year study on the life of Jesus. He spent nearly twenty-four hours of almost every day with the Savior during this time. He slept next to Him on roadsides, in fields, and on dirt floors. He ate with Him, heard Him pray, saw His miracles, and listened to His sermons. You might say that Peter was an expert on Jesus of Nazareth. But why won’t some Bible experts of today believe Peter, the real expert? Because they’re relying on flesh and blood. And yet, Jesus taught that flesh and blood—to see, to touch and to hear—are not enough. Study is not enough! According to Christ, we must receive our witness from heaven. Peter, receiving this witness over and over again, eventually gave his life as a Christian, refusing to deny his testimony of Jesus. How many men or women in the world today, Bible experts or not, would give their lives for Jesus if they weren’t really sure of what He said?
Now, how does the “Father, which is in heaven” reveal the truth about Christ to us? Jesus said:
“…[thus] will the Father bear record of me…he will visit [you]…with the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 11: 35-36).
There it is!
“…by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10: 5).
Joseph Smith said:
“I…know more than all the world put together. The Holy Ghost does, anyhow, and He is within me, and comprehends more than all the world: and I will associate myself with Him” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1977, p. 350).
Joseph wasn’t bragging about his spiritual knowledge, but was stating quite frankly that man cannot know of the things of God without the Spirit of God to guide him.
“…the things of God knoweth no man, except he has the Spirit of God” (JST 1 Corinthians 2: 11).
Therefore, as Joseph taught, we need to associate ourselves with the Holy Ghost.
The Church does not say: “Don’t ask questions. Just follow blindly along. Don’t read the Scriptures. Take the leaders’ word for it! Don’t seek your own witness, your own testimony. God won’t reveal anything to you, only to us who are at the head.” The Church will never say that. If you want to obtain a trustworthy, lasting testimony of anything, ask God, not Bible experts. That’s how the restored Church came back to the earth. Joseph lacked wisdom and went to God, not men for the answer. And that’s how this Church continues to spread across the earth today—hundreds of thousands of people every year, getting a spiritual witness from God!
So, to know for yourself what Jesus really said, who are you going to believe? Men?…or Jesus? The Savior, speaking of His revelations, said:
“These words are not of men nor of man, but of me…For it is my voice which speaketh them unto you; for they are given by my Spirit unto you…Wherefore, you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words” (D&C 18: 34-36).
“…my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth” (D&C 88: 66).
“My sheep hear my voice…and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life” (John 10: 27-28).
To be the Lord’s sheep, we must trust the Lord’s voice, not the voices of the world. President Brigham Young taught:
“…the greatest and most important of all requirements of our Father in heaven…is…to believe in Jesus Christ, confess him, seek him, cling to him, make friends with him. Take a course to open and keep open a communication with your Elder Brother…our Savior” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 339).
We must open the lines of communication between us and the Lord so that when He wants to speak to us, we are able to hear.
President Howard W. Hunter counseled us:
“We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him” (Ensign, September 1994, p. 5).
And how do we do this? Well, thankfully, some of the many things which Jesus did during His time on earth have been written down, and we have them at our fingertips! We can begin by picking up those sacred books and earnestly making our own search for the real Jesus. But remember, reading about Christ in the Holy Scriptures is not enough. We can’t let it end there. We must receive our witness from heaven. We must go to God in prayer, hungry to know the truth about Jesus. It is God’s promise to us all that He, our “Father, which is in heaven” will reveal to us as He did to Peter that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” There are so many kinds of voices in the world. But we should be most confident in that “voice from heaven” (Matthew 3: 17) which is “not a harsh voice, neither…a loud voice” but “a small voice” that does pierce them that hear it “to the very soul, and [does] cause their hearts to burn” (3 Nephi 11: 3). That Voice has spoken to our world and said: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3: 17).
Come, come, ye Saints! Come and see. Come ye out of Babylon to the Hero of heroes. Come and behold Him born the King of angels. O come, and adore Him…Christ the Lord!
We know most about that which we experience. We may be told much about something and remain unbelieving, unimpressed, even uninterested, until we “come and see” for ourselves. And so it comes down to this regarding Jesus Christ of Nazareth: come and see for yourself.
“Come and see.”