“I am the good shepherd, I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…” John 10:14 – 15a, ESV.
I was reading this a few mornings ago when I stopped, looked at it, reread it, reread it again, and then reread it again. The words “just as” flooded my soul. To think that Jesus knows us as He knows the Father; to think that we know Jesus just as the Father and Son know one another. Of course we may not know that we know, and our knowing is an “already not yet” proposition; the reason that we can know is that by the grace of God we do know.
This idea of “even as” is pronounced in the Upper Room (John Chapters 13 – 17). We are to love one another even as Jesus loves us (13:34; 15:12). Just as the Father loves Jesus, Jesus loves us (15:9). When we keep the Father’s commandments just as Jesus has kept them we abide in the Father’s love just as Jesus does (15:10). As the Father sent Jesus into the world Jesus sends us into the world (17:18; 20:21). We are called to be one just as the Father and Son are one (17:21, 22). The Father loves us even as He loves Jesus (17:23).
We don’t “see” all of these things as clearly as we will, they seem impossible to believe, impossible to experience – and yet they are there, statements of truth by Jesus Christ. Shall we allow our experience to determine our belief? Shall our experience mold and define our belief? If so, our actions will follow our belief.
Or shall we accept the words of Jesus as truth and therefore believe them and trust in them and order our thinking and lives accordingly? Shall we stop looking at what we are not and start looking at who we are in Christ? Shall we look at the things that are seen, which are temporal; or shall we look at the things that are not seen, which are eternal (2 Corinthians 4).
Later today I have a meeting at a construction site. Some of the people on the site can read blueprints quite well, some can read them moderately well, some cannot read them at all. This means that some only do what they are told to do and cannot see beyond the immediate task at hand. Others can read enough to have a fairly good idea of what is to come. Yet others can see the end from the beginning.
Life is about “knowing” – knowing Jesus, knowing our Good Shepherd. We are called by the Good Shepherd to know Him and to be known by Him just as the Father and Son know one another. This is far beyond me, but it is true.
So we find ourselves with Paul (1 Corinthians 13:12), “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”
God wants to be known, He wants you to know Him, He wants me to know Him, He wants us to know Him. Jesus was born so that God would be known; known to the point of being heard, and seen, and touched; known to the point of coming to live within us, in Jesus Christ, in intimate relationship.
We, who are so leery of having others truly know us, we who hardly know ourselves, have a Father who says, “Come and know Me just as I know My Son and My Son knows Me; come and know us…and in knowing us you can learn to know one another.”
What will we do with this invitation today?