“Knowing Jesus” Luke 10:21-24
Sunday, September 9, 2012
This morning we will continue our study of the Gospel of Luke in verses 21-24 of the 10th Chapter. In these verses we will remember that Jesus is the only means of salvation and that there is a difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus.
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Luke 10:21-24 ESV)
Jesus is the only means of salvation. He is the only way to God. In verse 22, Jesus says: “all things have been handed over to me.” All things mean everything and therefore there is nothing outside His control. He is preeminent over all. Paul in Philippians 2 says concerning Jesus:
God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Only Jesus can save. Only Jesus has access to God the Father. Jesus says in verse 22, “No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” Peter said in Acts 4:12, “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” John 14:6 says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Other religions may claim to offer a path to God, but only Jesus can redeem you.
Jesus is the only way, but what about other religions that claim to know Jesus? Are they viable paths to salvation? I heard a preacher put it this way:
If a stranger approaches you and claims they know your buddy John but all their facts about John are wrong, you can safely conclude they are referring to a different John.
Islam, Baha’i, Mormonism, and Jehovah’s Witnesses may claim to know Jesus, but a careful examination shows they are referring someone other than the Jesus of the Bible. Their facts are wrong. Jesus is not just a prophet (Islam), but the Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus is not the spirit brother of Lucifer (Mormonism), but the Son of God who destroys the work of the devil. Jesus is not simply a messenger (Baha’i), but is God made flesh who dwelt among us. It is not simply good enough to know that Jesus is the means to God, but you must know the true Jesus.
For one to be saved, He must not simply know about the true Jesus; but must know the true Jesus. There is a vast difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus. By the grace of God, the church has done a good job of telling people about Jesus and calling them to repentance and faith. Tragically, there are people in Southeast Missouri who know about Jesus; but they do not know Jesus. Southeast Missouri has a large number of Christian churches, how many people know the Christ of the Churches?
To know Jesus is to love Him and to love Him is to serve Him. To know Jesus is to offer yourself to Him as “a living sacrifice” (Rom 12:1). To know Jesus is to say with Paul in Philippians 3:8, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.” To know Jesus is to become “a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor 5:17).
To know Jesus is to live by faith not by works and refuse to bargain with God. You refuse to believe the lies of works-based religion that says God will help you and love you only if you are good enough. Knowing Jesus mean you rest on faith and have “access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Knowing Jesus means you know you are not good enough, but that Jesus is good enough.
Knowing Jesus means you refuse to compare yourself to others. You know that your goodness is not based on them. This frees you from the temptation to gossip about and slander them in an effort to make yourself look better. Knowing Jesus means you “do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phil 2:3).
Knowing Jesus means you refuse to fall into the trap of seeing the trials and troubles of this world as God’s unfaithfulness and unconcern. Instead, you live James 1:2-4, Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
It is tragic to consider a person who claims to follow a Jesus that they have only heard about and never known. They say they serve Jesus, but they have no love for Him because they have never met Him. They serve Jesus in name only and quickly abandon the charade when times get difficult. Those who only know about Jesus get frustrated with Him for not helping them during their hour of need; failing to remember their refusal to trust Him during the other hours of life. Those who only know about Jesus are the ones who get angry at Him when they encounter problems. To know Jesus is to serve Him and consider Him to be worthy of your love, service, and obedience; not to that He can make you happy.
Examine yourself. Do you know Jesus or do you simply know about Jesus? Does your life, under examination, prove that your thoughts, words, and actions are grounded in your knowledge of Jesus? If so, “blessed are the eyes that see what you see!” (23).
Questions for Reflection
- To whom are all things given?
- Who knows who the Father is?
- Why do other faiths fail to bring salvation?
- What is the difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus?