Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”

— John 1:10-12

You’ve probably never had an encounter with a UFO (unidentified flying object), but thousands of people claim to have had such strange experiences. The reports of UFOs have been divided into three types: close encounters of the first kind—the sighting of UFOs, close encounters of the second kind—physical evidence for the presence of UFOs, and close encounters of the third kind—being kidnapped for short periods of time by beings who operate UFOs. You may doubt people who have claimed to have experienced such encounters, but there is another encounter about which you could have no question.

I’m talking about a close encounter of the fourth kind. It, like the others, began with a brilliant light in the sky that people followed until it finally stood still. The light drew attention to a Visitor from outer space who came to a small village on the other side of the planet two thousand years ago. This Being had a wisdom far beyond anything that we know. He had a power greater than any creature. But He was no alien. He came unto His own, and thousands of His own saw Him.

In fact, many of them claimed that He rose from the dead. Over five hundred people saw Him alive after His public crucifixion. The people who claimed to have this final earthly encounter did something which gives a credibility to their testimony not found in the testimony of modern close encounters. God, in His wisdom, saw to it that a persecution arose, and the people who encountered this Being suffered hardships, torture, and death specifically for claiming they had seen Him after His resurrection.

The mysterious thing about the close encounter of the fourth kind is that although it was an historical event, we can still experience it. Have you met with Jesus Christ today? Daily communion with the Lord of the universe is our close encounter of the fourth kind, the most precious part of our life.

“[Ours is] the visited planet.”
J. B. Phillips