Psalm 96:1-9; 1 Kings 8:31-40; Luke 4:31-37
I know a lot about our current president. I know his name and his wife’s name. I know where he lives. I know what he did before he became president. I know something about his policies. I know something about his hobbies. Yet, were I to show up at the White House and ask for entrance to see the president because I know all about him, I would be stopped by the Secret Service. Were the president to walk out at that instance, he might wave as he passed by, but he wouldn’t stop to talk to me. As much as I know about him, I don’t know him…and he doesn’t know me.
Demons recognized Jesus. They spoke to Him through the people they possessed. They knew who He was. They acknowledged His divinity. They didn’t like Him. In the reading today, a demon cried out at Jesus while He was teaching in the synagogue. “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:34) In some ways these demons were smarter than a lot of people who still reject the truth that Jesus is the Holy One of God; the Messiah; the Lamb who was slain.
There are a lot of people who know something about God. They may have grown up in a church. They may have read the Bible – even a whole lot. They might be able to tell you a lot about God. They could discuss the Creation and Fall of Man. They could discuss the Bible intelligently and even explain the reasons for the Exile. They might be able to tell you why Jesus Christ needed to be crucified. They might believe in the resurrection. And yet, with all they know about God, they might not know God and have a relationship with Him. Jesus told the story of people who came before Him at the last judgment who claimed to have performed miracles who are told to depart, because He never knew them. (Matthew 7:21-23)
So how do we get to know Jesus? We begin by acknowledging Him as Lord. We recognize His control over the world and over our lives. We believe that Jesus died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and to bring us God’s mercy and forgiveness. Then we confess our need for Jesus to forgive our sins and enter our hearts. As Paul said, with the heart man believes and with the mouth man confesses for salvation. (Romans 10:11-13) Today I want to ask you to make a fine distinction: do you know about God, or do you know God? If you want to know God and you follow the process above, you can know Him. What an amazing privilege to be able to know the Lord over all the Creation!
Lord God, You have created all things. As we think about Your vast and glorious creation, it is even more mind boggling that You know us, love us, and want to be friends with us. Thank You for welcoming me into Your family because of Jesus. I pray for all who read this, especially those who know about You, but don’t know You yet. Speak to them and draw them to Yourself.