But Does He Know You?
Read Matthew 7:21-23 (ESV)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
According to today’s verse, is salvation about what we do or who we know?
Who are you a fan of? Whoever it is, I bet you know a lot more about them than they know about you. They may not even know you exist! Still, you may drop their names in conversations now and again to make yourself look better. You might even quote them on social media. But the reality is, if you met up on a street somewhere and started talking to them like an old friend, they’d probably say, “I’m sorry, do I know you?”
The thing about relationships is that they are two-way streets. You might know a lot about a person but that doesn’t mean that you know them personally. In a genuine relationship, you know someone and they know you. Not just facts and personal details, but they know your character and they’ve seen your heart.
In today’s verses, Jesus warned that many people claim to know Jesus. Some of them even do good deeds or perform mighty acts of healing and prophecy in Jesus’ name! But that doesn’t mean they are known by Him.
Now, of course, Jesus knows who they are. As their Creator, He knows them better than they know themselves. But that’s the point. He knows the true thoughts and intentions of their hearts. He knows whether their faith and relationship with Him is sincere or not. He can see through any pretense straight to the heart of the matter. For example, Matthew 9:4 says this: “But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?’”
King David wrote in Psalm 139:4 about how intimately God knows him. “Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.”
It is clear from Scripture that Jesus knows the hearts and minds of all mankind. So when Jesus says, “I never knew you,” He is exposing the pretense of their relationship. It wasn’t genuine, it wasn’t sincere. These people may have used Jesus’ name for their own benefit but they didn’t seek to know Him on a personal level. They didn’t belong to Him.
Jesus’ point is not everyone who claims to be a Christian is actually a Christian. They may claim to follow Him and do good works in His name but Jesus knows their true hearts. He knows who truly seeks Him, He knows who has truly repented, He knows those who are seeking to do His will for His glory and not their own. He knows who the insincere “name droppers” are.
In light of this, how do we get to know Jesus personally so we never have to hear the devastating words, “depart from me”? The same way we get to know anyone else—we talk to Him (prayer), we listen to Him (read His Word), we spend time with Him, and we walk through life together.
Jesus knew that many people knew a lot about Him and claimed to follow Him but He said this about them, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9). Jesus knows if we truly know Him or if we are just going through the religious motions. He knows who wants to know Him and who wants to use Him.
Friends, salvation is found in knowing and loving Jesus. Knowing and loving Jesus doesn’t mean empty lip service and insincere works, it means submitting to His will and spending time with Him through His Word and through prayer. I encourage you to do a heart check today. You might know a lot about Jesus, but do you truly know Him? Does He know you?
Jesus, I want to know and be known by You. I want to belong to You. “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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