I wonder if I’ve come to know Jesus. Or perhaps I should ask, “I wonder how well I really know Jesus?”
For the past few days I’ve been taken aback by the interchange between Jesus and Philip in John Chapter 14.
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father, how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” [John 14:8-10].
We can get so wrapped up in the distinction between “knowing about” Jesus versus “knowing” Jesus when it comes to salvation that we may miss the question as disciples, “How well do we really know Jesus?”
I’m not sure I can answer the question in terms of myself. I don’t know how well I know Him because there is so much of Him to know and I’m realizing, in some measure, how much there is about Him that I’m unaware of. It is somewhat like looking back over childhood and seeing yourself from an adult perspective, realizing how childish and unaware you were of your surroundings. It is also like looking back over your adult life and seeing things you completely missed, people and events you didn’t understand, mistakes you made, sins you committed.
What did Philip think when he heard Jesus’ words? Philip thought he knew Jesus, it was Philip who found Nathanael and said, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph,” John 1:45. For three years Philip had been with Jesus, but Jesus says to him, “…and yet you have not come to know me Philip?”
Sad to say, but good to know, that I can see there’ve been times when I’ve thought Jesus was a “movement” or a doctrinal paradigm or a genre of music and worship or even a lifestyle. Philip knew he’d found the Messiah, that’s why he found Nathaniel and told him about Jesus, what Philip didn’t know was that he’d found so much more than (his understanding of) the Messiah – he’d found God. Philip not only found the one whom Moses and the prophets spoke of, he’d found the One who called Moses and the prophets and spoke to them.
As I ponder how well I really know Jesus, I want to know Jesus better today and love Him more today than I did yesterday. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to answer the question of how well I really know Jesus, other than to say, “Not as much as I want to.”
Lord Jesus, help us to know you better today.