We always like it when someone can get down on our level, and relate to us where we are in our understanding on a specific topic. When we are young children, it is helpful for an adult to get down on their knees and get at our eye level when they explain something to us.
Or, when we are in college and we’re taking a very difficult course, it is helpful when our professor over-simplifies the material so that we can understand it. Perhaps they will say something like, “DNA is a recipe book.” While it is an extremely helpful analogy because DNA contains the code that shows how sorts of proteins will be made, it is not the case that DNA is actually encased in a paperback book somewhere inside the cell. However, it is an obvious fact that this analogy helps us to form an understanding of how DNA works, and for a professor to describe it shows that he knows the material so well that he can create an analogy based on his higher knowledge.
When it comes to Jesus—the image of the invisible God who became flesh and dwelt among us, who is himself fully God—we should expect Him to understand the Word at a much deeper and higher level than ourselves. Because of this, we expect Jesus to display the qualities of Someone who has a higher understanding, and one of those qualities is an ability to make complicated topics very clear for an audience that does not understand the material. A professor who really understands the material of Biology can relate DNA to things that the students already know, such as recipe books or blueprints. Likewise, Jesus relates the deeper spiritual things of the Word of God to what the audience is familiar with. His super-intelligence meets people right where they are so that He can witness to them in the most effective way possible.
The greatest example of this is Jesus’ parables. Jesus understood the deeper spiritual things fully, yet He was in the presence of people who were extremely limited in their understanding. Even the Scribes and Pharisees were puny compared to Jesus’ in their understanding of scripture. So, He had to relate to them in ways that they could understand. To do this, He spoke in parables. And a parable is simply a story told to illustrate a spiritual lesson.
The Good Samaritan
One such story is the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10: And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (English Standard Version, ESV) 
What makes this parable so powerful is that it flips the idea of being a neighbor on its head for the lawyer. You see, the lawyer was an expert on the law, but he and the Jewish people of his day had interrupted the “Love your neighbor as yourself” statement in the Old Testament to only include people in their own nationality and religious sect. When you learn about the history between the Samaritans and the Jews it becomes apparent why they thought the way they did about who was their “neighbor” and who wasn’t. According to the Christian Bible Reference Site:
Samaria was a region of central Palestine that was once the capital of Israel. The Assyrians captured Samaria in 721 B.C. They deported many of the inhabitants and replaced them with foreign colonists (2 Kings 17:24-33). The colonists were pagans who eventually intermarried with the remaining Jews. They adopted the religion of Israel, but they also continued to worship their pagan idols. The Jews considered the Samaritans to be religious heretics of a foreign nationality and inferior race. The Samaritans offered to help rebuild the Jewish temple, but their offer was rudely rebuffed (Ezra 4:1-3). Finally the Samaritans built a rival temple on Mt. Gerizim and proclaimed it, rather than the Jewish temple, to be the true house of God. By the time of Jesus, the Jews and Samaritans had hated each other for hundreds of years. (The Parable of the Good Samaritan, para. 3) 
Therefore, when Jesus uses the Samaritan as an example of someone who is a good neighbor, He is getting right down to the very core of this lawyer’s heart. He is getting right down to his level of understanding. The very last person that this Jewish lawyer would deem to be a good neighbor would be a Samaritan; yet Jesus deliberately uses a Samaritan in this parable to get his attention and to teach him a lesson.
By telling the lawyer that a Samaritan treated a Jew like a “good neighbor,” He was showing the lawyer that everyone is our neighbor, not just other people like ourselves. No matter the nationality, religion, or race, everyone is our neighbor and we should love them like we love ourselves. Here we see Jesus teaching us all a lesson, but He is also getting down to the level of understanding of the lawyer to meet him where he is at. When it comes to the deeper spiritual things, this fits the picture perfectly of how we would expect the God of the Universe in the form of man to behave. He has a full understanding of our hearts and the deeper spiritual things, so it makes sense that He would be able to relate to the Jewish lawyer in a perfectly and fully appropriate way.
The Blind Man
When it comes to our faith, I think Jesus also meets us where we are at. John chapter nine gives us a picture of this when He passes a blind man who has been blind from birth. In this case, Jesus spits on the ground and makes mud with his saliva. He anoints the man’s eyes with this mud and then tells him to go wash in a pool. When the man had washed the mud out of his eyes, he received his sight (see John 9:1-17). For the first time in his life this man could finally see. What an amazing experience that must have been! And when it comes to Jesus meeting us where we are at, this shows how He met the blind man exactly where he was at.
If I was blind my entire life, I would be a person who valued two things: feeling and hearing. If I couldn’t see, then I would have to feel my way around to get to where I needed to go. I would also have to be very adept at hearing in order to compensate for my lack of sight. So, for Jesus to make mud, rub that mud on the blind man’s eyes, and then to tell the blind man to wash in a pool, Jesus had done all physical things along with an auditory direction. To a blind man, this would be the most applicable to his personal life. Therefore, Jesus had met the blind man exactly where He was at. Jesus had met Him in a way that would be the most effective.
I used to think that it was contradictory for Jesus to heal people in different ways because I thought perhaps that He was only doing it for the reason of orchestrating (or faking) the healings. For instance, perhaps Jesus told this man to go into the water so that He could switch the blind man with a person who looked like the blind man, but who wasn’t blind. But to believe this type of skepticism, you have to believe that Jesus was able to replace every single person He healed with someone who looked just like the people He “healed.” Also, the people Jesus healed were recognized by their peers as the actual people. So, it’s erroneous to buy into that level of skepticism. However, it makes more sense that Jesus, an infinitely wise teacher, would be able to change the way He delivers healing in order to meet people where they are in their understanding—rather, meeting people where they are in their faith. In order to meet the blind man, a person accustomed to a lifetime of physically feeling his way around, Jesus did the healing through two physical actions. It’s an incredibly beautiful picture, especially if you put yourself in the shoes of the blind man.
The Centurion Guard
Another example of this is how Jesus meets the centurion guard where he is at in Luke chapter seven. According to Luke 7:2-10:
Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well. (English Standard Version, ESV)
The centurion, according to the passage, was a man accustomed to having authority. After all, centurions were called “centurions” because they commanded around 100 men. Most only commanded around 80 men, but either way, this centurion was a man who had authority; he knew what it was like to be able to tell someone under him to do something, and that it would get done without question. So, when Jesus comes near to his home with his sick servant, his friends meet Jesus outside and speak for him; they tell Jesus that He need only say the word and his servant would be healed.
Jesus was impressed by this centurion’s faith! So much so that He turned to the crowd and said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith” (ESV). And after the men had returned to their home, the servant was healed. This shows that Jesus got down to the level of this man and related to him in the sense of authority. Rather than with the blind man, where He related to him in a sense of physicality. Jesus also got down to the level of this man’s faith and met him where he was at. The man had great faith, and Jesus knew that He only had to say the word to reassure the centurion of who He was. This also paints a beautiful picture of how personal Jesus is with us. He wants to get down and meet us where we are. He wants to relate to us in a way that we can understand. I know in my personal life Christ has done this, but more on that later.
Woman in the Crowd
One last example, while there are many more that I don’t have time to discuss, is found in Mark 5. Here Jesus has a great crowd following Him and crowding around Him. But there was a woman in the crowd who had suffered from extreme blood discharges for twelve years. The woman had spent all her money on physicians but no one could help her condition. In fact, her condition had gotten worse over the years. When she saw Jesus, she worked her way through the crowd to get to Him. In her heart, she knew that she only had to touch Him and she would be healed of her illness. She got close enough and WHAM. She touched Him and immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she was completely healed of her disease. According to Mark 5:30-34:
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (English Standard Version, ESV)
Jesus met this poor woman right where she was at in her faith. Jesus was busy with the crowd before Him, probably answering questions and speaking, but yet He still was able to heal this woman with a twelve-year sickness without blinking an eye. Her faith was extremely great, just like the centurion’s, but God met the woman in a different way that applied to her more personally and thus more effectively. Because Jesus is God, He is able to understand the deepest recesses of our hearts and where we are in our understanding. So, when Jesus heals us, invades us, teaches us, or gets at our very thoughts, He does it in a way that is the most effective for who we are. This woman had a faith that needed only a touch from Jesus in order for her to be reassured, and that is exactly what Jesus allowed her to receive.
I’ve read each of these passages multiple times in my life, but it wasn’t until we talked about them in my Disciple Life Group that I came to the conclusion that Jesus can meet us where we are. It is just another one of those little things that has strengthened my faith. It is the sum of all the details of scripture that add up to something that is overwhelmingly true. And the beauty of these passages (and therefore the Bible) is that these stories are not limited to words their presence on a page. They are eternal, and therefore carry eternal weight and current life applications.
In my own life, Jesus met me where I was. He has gotten down to my pathetic level of faith and revealed Himself to me. It’s so personal, intimate, and applicable to my own life that it shows how personal, intimate, and loving our Savior really is. When I think about it, it makes me a little emotional. But I think that is only natural. When the blind man, a person who was accustomed to feeling his way around for a lifetime was healed in a personal way through a physical avenue, it must have been quite emotional for him too. He knew that His savior was getting personal with him and meeting him where Jesus knew it would be the most effective to strengthen his faith. It also makes my head hurt because it reveals how personal our God is with every single person who will ever exist.
In my life, God met me as a young teenager with an extremely weak faith. Yet Jesus still got down to where I was. He convicted my heart; He saved my soul. It’s so powerful because I know that Jesus was so high above me in every way. Yet, He was willing to meet me where I was, knowing all the sin I was caught up in, and started a relationship with me. He didn’t ask me to clean up my act, He just knocked on the door of my heart. It’s not that He was ok with the sin I was living in, but He just wanted to get to me first. Then, of course, He immediately began working out my problems.
The takeaway is this: God will meet you where you are at. He doesn’t ask you to clean up your act in order for you to come to Him, He asks you to come as you are. He will reveal Himself to you in a way that is personal to you. In a way that is the most effective. I don’t know why Jesus bothers with us, or why the infinite Lord of creation can get down and personal with every single human, but He does. I am grateful for it. You must pray for God to reveal Himself to you personally. Ask Him to take you as you are. Ask Him to meet you where you are.
Cite: Faucett, D. (2017). Meeting Us Where We Are. Faucett Journal. Retrieved from http://www.faucettjournal.com/articles/meeting-us-where-we-are
See Luke 10:25-37 (ESV).
The Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Good Samaritan (N.d.). Christian Bible Reference Site. Retrieved from http://www.christianbiblereference.org/jparable.htm