Monday, October 19, 2015

Do I Even Know You?

(by Pastor Joe)
John 2:24-25
"But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men. He did not need man's testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man."
Have you ever thought that you have a pretty good idea about who someone was, only to find out that you really had no idea. It is a rather disconcerting feeling. In the past year or so I have felt utterly bewildered at least three times as people who I had known to be one way, revealed that they were, in reality, much different, and not always in a good way.
The truth is that deep down inside of every one of us there is a secret place that the rest of the world does not see. Often we don't even show it to our closest friends and family members. Sometimes we can even fool ourselves.
This verse in John reminds me of another classic- Jeremiah 17:9:
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
Who can indeed? Jesus Christ walked and talked and ministered in a world full of double talk and self-deception, a world of flattery and false motives, a world where the same people could cry "Hosanna" one day and "Crucify!" the next. The calendar has changed since then, but the basic nature of man, deceiving one another and being deceived, remains. This verse, among others, shows how Jesus rejected operating along those lines. His life and his message would never be reduced to manipulation or propaganda. He would never be subject to any man's agenda- only that of His Heavenly Father's.
But not only does he know what is in us, he never lets that very damning information stop him from loving us anyways. That is what is different about Jesus Christ. He knows all and loves in spite of it. He knows the deepest and darkest parts of every human soul. He knows what we won't share with others. What we don't even admit to ourselves. He knows.
He is the only one who put his command to love his enemies (Matthew 5:44) into action before they even were enemies. He loved Peter despite the fact that he knew Peter would deny him. He loved Judas, even thought he knew the greed and betrayal inside of Judas' heart would lead to his crucifixion. He "demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).

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