Church membership, small groups and even faith doesn't mean you really know Jesus.
John 14:7-11 If you had really known Me, you would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!" 8 Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied."
9 Jesus replied, "Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don't know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you?
10 Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do.
Do you know Jesus? I mean really know him? It isn't a strange question. There was a time in the United States when just about everybody knew who Jesus is but those numbers have slowly declined. But just because they knew who he is doesn't mean that they really knew him as a close personal friend.
The Bible tells us that in Jesus' small group they didn't all know him and some of them knew him better than others. We saw recently that Judas didn't get it at all and he wasted three years of his life living a lie. The other disciples didn't really know him fully or they wouldn't react to situations the way they did.
Philip proved that he didn't really know when he asks Jesus "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." Jesus has been with them for all this time telling them that he is God (John 10:30-33) and yet they are still confused.
Philip is the same guy that Jesus asked “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” (John 6:5) If he really knew Jesus he wouldn't have any doubt that Jesus could feed them even if there wasn't a basket of bread and fish.
I cannot criticize Philip for what he didn't know, I have to ask myself if I really know Jesus, does the average church attender or small group participant really know Jesus? What level of intimacy is my relationship to Jesus?
The average person in Jerusalem may have had physical or factual knowledge of who Jesus is but it didn't have an affect on their life. Even the people that were against Jesus had this much knowledge of him but because they stopped there and didn't go any further in their relationship with him, out of ignorance they came to the wrong conclusion about him.
We need to know Jesus deeper through a relationship built on faith or else we will be in danger of forming the wrong opinion about him. This is the depth of knowing that scripture refers to between Adam and Eve in Genesis 4:1 and this is the depth of relationship that Jesus uses in John 17:3.
|John 17:3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.|
The apostle Paul mentions a deeper knowing of Jesus in his letter to the Philippians. This deeper knowledge of Jesus causes your perspective of worldly things to change.
|Philippians 3:8-10 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. 10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death,|
The value of knowing Christ and holding him above any other love in this world is pretty radical. Paul was educated, he had position in the religious system and he was known for being a devout Jew that obeyed the law but none of this was important to him after he received a deeper knowledge of Jesus.
We can be too much like Paul, we know enough about Jesus to make us dangerous, we can come to some radical opinions about him and do some stupid things. We can value our own ability and our social status above the value of knowing Jesus better and allowing him to be in control.
|John 14:19-21 Soon the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me. Since I live, you also will live. 20 When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.
21 Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me. And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them."
|John 17:23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.|
I need to go beyond just knowing Jesus and take it to a deeper level. The burning desire of every believer ought to be to know God better, to know Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I mean really KNOW them and be a real follower of Christ.
I should be diligent to be "Digging the Word" so that I might know and I should allow what I know to affect the way that I live. Once I began to cultivate this deeper communion with Christ it made me hungry for more, I have no desire to return to my previous shallow life being a careless Christian.
I need to remember Jesus words at the beginning of John 14 and realize that I can live with a heart that isn't troubled if I have faith and if I live it out my faith in obedience to his commands. (John 14:1)
Knowing Christ More Intimately (bible.org)