Jesus Christ made an amazing statement in one of the most profound recording of His words in Scripture. He was praying to the Father in the most intimate of ways, revealing a communion and oneness with Him that is difficult for us to soak in. Amazingly, Jesus begins to speak in this prayer of those who would carry on the advance of the Kingdom after His death. He prays for those disciples and then He adds in a captivating statement concerning us who would believe on Him down through the ages when He says in John 17:20-21,
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one…”
Jesus prayed for us there, and His infinite mind was not conceiving some general wad of humanity, but rather each specific person who would be His own in the end. If you are one who believes in Him then you can know He prayed for you that day and that it is recorded in Scripture. When I study the life of Jesus Christ I am continually awestruck at His character, deeds and words. If I’m being honest, there are days when I am convinced that I barely know Him at all. It is my opinion that we will be so mind-blowingly astounded at who He is when we arrive in glory, that the first thing that may enter into our fully renewed minds will be something like, “If I had only known…” If it turns out that we did not know much about Him at all, then we will not be alone in our lack of intimate understanding. You see, even one of His original followers, one of the twelve, once heard from his Lord,
“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?” – John 14:9
My friends, please be realistic and believe with me that you and I are not merely lacking a few blanks which will need to be filled in when we enter paradise. By the way some of us live one might be led to believe that we think that we have God nearly summed up. Surely He has been gracious to show us so much through His word and His Spirit, but He certainly has revealed more to us than we are able or willing to perceive. No, we don’t stand in need of God’s answers to a dozen or so curiosities that dwell in our minds… we will be receiving a cosmic revelation of Him which has never entered into the heart of man. When there is no need for faith, and the eternal God then presents Himself to us with nothing limiting our comprehension of Him…uhhhhh….hmmmmm….well, there exist no adequate words to describe what that will be like. Because of this I’m going to leave you with some things that I am rather certain that I still do not yet really know of God the Son, Jesus Christ the Lord:
- I really don’t know how much He loves me. Theologically I am convinced, but I struggle to completely internalize that His love for me is titanic and full, never increasing, never diminishing. I’m grateful that this love of His is not dependent upon my confidence in it.
- I really don’t fathom how forgiving He is. Again, my theology tells me that you and I are fully forgiven but…fully welcome? All the time? Could it really be?
- God loves to bless. He’s a Giver of the first order. He never fears running out of blessings and He doesn’t lose anything when He gives. His desire is to bless you with His best. Me too. I cannot earn His very best and I never deserve it. He may bless me in spite of my unworthiness, He may bless me through my faithfulness…but He never blesses me because of anything other than that He is good and loves to demonstrate that goodness. I am quite certain that I really don’t understand how true this is.
- There is absolutely no reason for me to fear His growing weary of me. Do you ever wonder when He is going to reach His “That’s enough!” moment with you? Are you ever worried that this compassionate, merciful, gracious and loving God will look at you in your 8 millionth failure and say, “This one has exhausted my resources. I’m though with her.” If we knew Him like He deserves to be known we would never even consider this heresy. His mercies really are new every morning. That includes today.
- I really don’t understand how sufficient His grace really is. I’m really not convinced that it’s a good thing for His power to be perfected in my weakness. I’m really not confident that He will be there to catch me in the eleventh hour, two inches from me hitting a life-imploding rock-bottom. If I really knew Him as He is, I wouldn’t try so hard to remain strong all the time. If I really knew Him as He is, I wouldn’t be so afraid of my own weaknesses.
- I really don’t grasp how certain my eternity is in His love and grace. I really don’t believe how soon His return is. I really don’t fathom how blissfully close I am to seeing my King. He really is real, the ultimate reality. He is the final word – Christ is my starting gun and my finish line. I really am safe. If I knew Him as He wants to be known I wouldn’t fret so much about things down here. I must not really know Him enough to be absorbed with His coming Kingdom. If I really knew Him as I could, I would sense a deeper joy than I’ve ever allowed myself. So would you, don’t you think?
So how about you? To know Him initially is to move from death to life. To know Him continually is to move from fear to hope. To know Him fully is to move from earth to heaven. Knowing Jesus as He is worthy to be known. That’s what I’m thinking about today.