Meeting Jesus

Jeff Chesemore

Perhaps you’ve noticed our tagline on the journal cover: Kids. Culture. Jesus.

In this case we certainly start with the end in mind. Jesus is our raison d’etre​ — the sole purpose for everything we do. Young Life exists, as our mission statement proclaims, to introduce adolescents to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.

This introduction is an invitation to follow the One who created us in His image, who knows us better than we know ourselves, who loves us and wants to be with us.

For far too many, however, this is not the Jesus they’ve encountered. For some, the mention of Jesus conjures up images of rules or restrictions. For others, Jesus just seems irrelevant.

Longtime Young Life staff Chuck Reinhold often said, “People don’t have a problem with Jesus Christ — they have a problem with their introduction​ to Jesus Christ — because a wrong introduction leads to a wrong conclusion every time.”

And when embracing a wrong conclusion, it’s no surprise they ask, “Why should I follow Him?” (Meaning, “What’s in it for me?”)

Jesus is not the means to an end. He is the end. Why follow Him? Because He’s the only one worthy of our lives …

He is God’s eternal Son and was with the Father before time began.

He “became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood” (John 1:14, The Message).

He took upon Himself our sins and sorrows.

He voluntarily laid down His life because He would rather die than live without us.

He rose again three days later, demonstrating His power and authority over death.

He abides in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

This is the Jesus we’re introducing to kids! The cry of every heart is to know Him and the freedom He provides.

Jesus asked over 300 questions in the Bible. Perhaps the most critical one is this: “Who do you say I am?”

There is no more important question in life. Our answer to this determines everything! If we conclude He is in fact the King of kings and the Lord of lords, we’ll long to be in relationship with Him, enjoying the eternal life that begins right here, right now.

This is the good news we have the privilege of sharing with kids every day, all around the world.

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So, lastly, three questions:

  1. What was your introduction to Jesus like?
  2. Does it square with the Jesus of the Gospels?
  3. Do you long to know Him more?