hugh’s news & Views
JESUS KNOWS ME, THIS I LOVE
Last week we wrote under the caption “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know,” the title of a well-known Christian hymn. It expresses both a simple and a deeply profound truth that lies at the heart of the gospel. However, the inverse of that title is also true: Jesus knows me, this I love. It is about this great biblical truth that I wish to write today.
In the beautiful parable of The Good Shepherd (John 10:11-16), Jesus declares, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (verse 14). Later He says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (verse 27, emphasis in the preceding verses mine). What reassuring words these are! It is very true that God wants us to know Him and that we must know Him if we are to experience eternal life with Him. Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus prayed, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). But how comforting and encouraging it is to know that God and Christ know us!
In his letter to the churches of Galatia (part of the modern-day country of Turkey), the apostle Paul reminded his readers (many of whom had been heathen idolaters) of both their past and their present. In an interesting and significant turn of phrases Paul writes, “But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those who by nature are not gods. But now that you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements to which you desire again to be in bondage” (Galatians 4:8-9)? These Galatian Christians were on the verge of becoming “fallen from grace” (5:4). In his fervent appeal to them to remain faithful to the gospel, Paul reminds them of their present exalted spiritual state: they know God and, better still, God knows them! Why should they forfeit that relationship? Why should we forfeit such a relationship? Jesus knows me, this I love!
Writing to a young preacher by the name of Timothy, Paul affirmed, “Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and ‘Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity’ ” (II Timothy 2:19). This great text clearly affirms that the Lord knows the identity of His people, all of those who truly belong to Him, but it also gives the blessed assurance that the Lord knows His people, that He loves and cares for those who are His own.
Peter wrote to Christians: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people, but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (I Peter 2:9-10).
On the other hand, it is unspeakably sad to realize that many who profess to know God and claim to be known by Him will be lost on the day of judgment. Listen to Christ as He comes to the climax of His great Sermon on the Mount: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonderful works in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you, depart from Me, you who work iniquity’ ” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Do you know the Lord? Does the Lord know you? Can you truthfully say, “Jesus knows me, this I love”? What blessed assurance for those who can say it and know that it is true.
February 19, 2013