I Know You

“Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent me.  I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known in order that the love You have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”  John 17:25, 26.

The “they” and “them” of this text is the disciples.  He’s saying something pretty profound about His knowledge of God and to whom He has revealed Him.

We need to make understanding the contrast between who knows and who doesn’t a point for reflection everyday, because the world doesn’t know God and really doesn’t care to.  I know even the world might object to this conclusion from the text, but watching it for so many years as I have, the truth is they don’t care really.  So many in the church (and I’m including all denominations by the way) don’t really know Him either and aren’t interested, it seems to me, beyond a basic salvation theme.

Jesus revealed the Father’s heart and made it known to His disciples, who then passed on that knowledge to us.  We, then, pass on what we know to others who are being saved.  It’s a ripple effect of the stone thrown in the water 2000 years ago, which means eventually all of us become pebbles in the hands of the Almighty being thrown in parts of the world pool where we make the most splash and ripples bless as many as possible.

The problem for many of us is we think witnessing comes down about quoting Scripture and door to door sales.  It’s these two methods or we get the brilliant notion a store front gospel reaches the world most effectively, along with all the window dressing and flashy lights.  None of this makes any difference in the long run since knowing God comes from spending time with His people, first, then in His Word of truth, second.  I know a lot of evangelists think it’s just about getting the crowds through the doors, but true evangelism is discipleship—disciple being the root of the word discipline, which despite its obvious twists in modern perception, means at its heart training in righteousness.

Becoming like God is not about our efforts to be like Him, study about Him or imitation of Him, but submission to the way He thinks.  In other words, we begin to think like Him only when we submit to His mind, then and only then do we become like Him through study and imitation.  Just as thought preempts action, so how we think preempts any attempt towards change.  The gospel speaks about changing the heart and that we have to put forth a super effort to do so; what we get wrong in this equation is not the end but the means of reaching that goal.  Our first job is to conform to the mind of Christ, which comes through submission, because only then can we live out how we think in the world.  The greatest witness of God’s mind will always be those those who demonstrate  it in their daily lives.

Think about how Jesus revealed the mind of God to the disciples.  Through teaching, certainly, but what did He do to reveal the Father?  Jesus came to earth in real time, with real human problems, emotions and options.  His daily routine is not talked about much in the gospels but we do know He traveled from place to place with His followers.  This means to me they saw Him when He was dusty from travel, smelled like a barn from sweat, probably swam in the rivers to clean up and wash the outer layer of dirt off, and generally did everything a normal person had to do in the world.  They knew when He used the outhouse, got something stuck in His teeth and whether or not He snored.

We don’t get to see all of these things, and if we did, it would be even harder for us to believe in His divinity.  Yet, where was and is the power of Jesus?  His word of truth revealed through the Spirit.  Elijah thought it was through miraculous intervention, thunder and lightning and earthquakes until God corrected his misapprehension in the still small voice.

The God who makes stars explode talks to us in a still small voice.  Why?  Why a stillness?

The Hebrews were terrified of God when He thundered from the mountain.  Smoke, fire, lightning did nothing to endear Him to them, so He chose to operate through other routes and reach us by unconventional means.  Jesus is living proof of this truth for He came not as a conquering hero but a carpenter from a small town with a bad reputation.

He knows God.  Keep this in mind when His teaching or example shows us something extraordinary or unexpected.  There’s a reason for all of Scripture, every story, every example of God working with mankind.  You or I may not get them all but they matter because they reveal something about God we need to know.  Jesus knew God and revealed Him to those who traveled with Him because they cared.  No one can expect to be given privileged information without the key to the person revealing it, which is trust.

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.  On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  2 Corinthians 4:1-4.  Now you know why our unbelieving friends find the gospel so hard to swallow.  We also know why so many Christians follow cunningly devised fables.  The veil remains where unbelief resides and submission to the god of this world continues.

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2 Responses to “I Know You”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Tomorrow I am going to a baptism of a special woman. I have seen her submission to the Lord and her exponential growth in kingdom realization. In a few short months she has gained more insight than many who have proclaimed the name of Christ for years. The difference is her hunger, her diligence to reading the word and getting around believers who would challenger her to think beyond what a scripture said to what it meant.

    Two weeks ago a woman came back into my life. She was in the first youth group I ever taught. She moved away after high school, and I heard some discouraging things about her life after that. But the day that I saw her, she hugged me tightly and said, “I have never forgotten what you taught me and I know that Jesus has kept me through this whole process and I’m ready to fully commit.”

    To me, your Sunday crowd at church is not a great indicator of situation. To me, it’s those who dare to come deeper into bible studies, who show up at your home to gain better understanding. Those who show up at the office because they want to borrow a concordance.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    yeah

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