T’oma said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going; so how can we know the way?” Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. Because you have known me, you will also know my Father; from now on, you do know him — in fact, you have seen him.” – John 14: 5-7 (Complete Jewish Bible)
We’ve heard this so many times before. Do we believe it though? Like Thomas and Philip, who had been with Jesus for so long, do we not scratch our heads and wonder, ‘do I know God?’ One minute we didn’t, but apparently now we know God. How is it possible? It’s encouraging at least, that the work of ‘knowing God’ seems to be His responsibility.
This week on the streets, we met Fred. Slightly addled, extremely nervous, Fred surprisingly knew a lot about church, God, the Bible and other things. His thinking though wasn’t clear, instead it was very confused. We’ve met many other people, some devotees of church and God for years, and in all seriousness very devout, who still don’t ‘know God.’ What is wrong with us all?
God, it would seem, wants us to understand that the truth about Jesus is greater than our current introspection.
“Now you know me.”
We do? If Jesus says we know him, then the only question must surely be, do we believe him? It is the beginning of real faith, of having our lives filled with the Fullness of Christ, to have faith that what he says is true, is real. If we are to experience what he said, we have to believe it. Christ dwells in our hearts, only by faith.
Our wiring though, after centuries of being told by all and sundry that such things might not be true, demands a certain proof before we will believe. He came to re-wire us. Forget what you’ve heard or even experienced, what I say to you is truth. Our faith must be child-like. If we struggle to see it, then we must ask him. “Help me to see how I know you. I don’t think I do, but I’m obviously wrong, because you say I do.”
There are many other Scriptures that call for the exact same kind of response. “Reckon yourselves dead to sin.” What is our usual response? “I’m not dead to sin, why only this morning…” As long as we keep arguing with God, then not only will we be wrong, but we are never going to experience walking in the Fullness of Christ; instead, we walk in unbelief. We hear the words, but like the Hebrews before us, we simply will not believe them.
You are dead to sin. Why? Because God has said so. As believers, and especially as believers who want to tell others about Jesus, our ability to live out The Way, The Truth and The Life every day, depends on whether we are hiding in Him alone for our fulfilment. No matter how we feel, or even what we think, our rest, our life, our hope must be in him alone.
“Am I saved?”
“Is Jesus saved?”
I have been thinking about this a lot. After years of listening to people, many of whom seemed so desperate to find some meaning in their lives in the church, what has gone so terribly wrong? The conclusion must surely be, we simply do not believe what God has told us about His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no formula to living the “victorious Christian life” or finding the “perfect church”. The perfect Christian corporate life is a bunch of people who are totally sold out to the idea that Jesus is the answer to every question in life. Our willingness to love The Truth, to put our faith entirely in Him, is the beginning of our ability to walk in the Gospel and to “taste the powers of the coming age.”
This is the Gospel we must announce to the world, that Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s every requirement of us, he is the Yes and the Amen to every promise and every hope of God. We must just settle that in our hearts. When we are frustrated, or tempted, when ‘stuff’ is happening to us, whether good or bad, we must never waiver: Jesus is the answer, the answer has been given, the Word has become flesh, God’s every dream and every hope for mankind is fulfilled in us, as we believe in the One he has sent.
“Do we know God? – Yes”
“How do we know that we know Him? – Because he has already said so.”