Coming to Jesus Through Scripture
By Drew Bogan
It wasn’t until I was nearing 29 years old that I believed in God. It happened at the funeral of a young man who had played high school lacrosse for me. I went from agnostic to believer in a flash, but my previous life hadn’t provided me with any knowledge of the God I now knew to be real. I was desperate to know more. I left the funeral simultaneously sad, elated, lonely, and confused.
I had made one professing Christian friend a few months before the funeral (God’s providence), and I sought her out. She loaded me up with books. I knew my long-time barber to be a Christian, and when I told him about my rebirth, he gave me a study Bible. I read voraciously. Knowing that God existed was exhilarating, but getting to know His nature and character added to the thrill.
Lent was coming. I heard Christians were supposed to give something up. I remembered Catholic kids in grade school denying themselves chocolate and Catholic coeds in college giving up beer (and only drinking liquor). I did some research.
It turns out Lent is about removing things from your life that keep you from a clearer view of God. My challenge was that I was too new to faith to have piled up much of a blockage. After consideration and prayer, it came to me: what kept me from a clearer vision of God was ignorance. I decided that for Lent I would read the Gospels.
Jesus amazed me. I laughed when He told them he’d raise the temple in three days and they thought He was talking about the one made of stone. Tears welled up when He walked away, though He told them He would be with them until the very end of the age. That first Lent was among the most exciting times in my life. God had confronted me with the inarguable truth of His existence at that funeral, but reading the Gospels brought me into relationship with Jesus, who He is, and what He had done. John 6:45 leapt off the page: “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught of God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me.” I had heard God. I had dived into Scripture. I had learned from His Word. Now I was coming to Jesus.
The week of Good Friday and Easter was also spring break (I was teaching high school), and I had no plans and no family or friends in town. I was alone with God, reading the final chapters of John each day in a quiet house. They overwhelmed me.
At Good Friday service, I sat in the sanctuary, arranging the understandings that were coming my way through Scripture and teaching. Not only was Jesus real and beautiful, he was absolutely necessary. My sin was hopelessly rampant, and his grace was so, so undeserved. I finished John on Saturday and fell to my knees in tears.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Drew Bogan is a covenant member at Soma Midtown. He’s a middle school teacher and a high school coach. Born and raised in Chicagoland, he married the friend mentioned in his blog post and now lives with her and their two children in Indianapolis.