Many are familiar with the popular children’s song “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. . .” I have come to realize that I must take issue with this line in the song, because the way I know Jesus loves me is because I know His love and that is why I also believe the Bible. The Bible testifies about Him and tells us what He did for us, but the way we truly know He loves us is because we experience His loving us. We do not need to settle for reading that He loves us.
It is by His Spirit awakening our spirits that we know He is real. I hold the Bible in high regard as it is fully inspired by the Living God. But I think the Church has often elevated the Bible beyond its intended position. We treat it as if it were Jesus instead of the book that tells all about Him. It is a book that points beyond itself to the heavenly One who gives it meaning.
I don’t know that Jesus loves me because the Bible tells me so. I do not know it because I can give reasoned evidences of its veracity. I simply know the Lord loves me because I know the love of the Lord. My heart is alive to His presence and I hear His voice. This is why I love His Word, not vice versa.
The way to know His love is to know Him. The Bible is a great place to start learning about Him, but Jesus is the Way and there is no substitute for Him. The way to Jesus is Jesus. This is why we are to seek the Lord with all our heart. This is why those that seek truth shall find Him. It is the heart that seeks and the mind is renewed by what the heart encounters.
Seeking the proof sometimes sends us in the wrong direction because we are looking for intellectual reasons when what we need is a God encounter. Often no reason will suffice until one experiences Him for him or herself. I think that is why most reasons only satisfy believers, because unbelief is not a condition of the mind, but of the heart. Only when the heart has found God do the intellectual answers make much sense. It really all boils down to Jesus.