What a Strange Question: Does Jesus Know You?
Doesn’t Jesus know everyone? He is, after all, Omniscient, All-Knowing God, Who “searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts” (1 Chronicles 28:9).
Yet, according to the Bible, being known by Jesus encompasses far more than Him knowing everything about you. And this question – “Does Jesus know you?” – is actually the most important question you will ever encounter. Why? Because only those whom Jesus knows will be allowed into Heaven.
Those whom Jesus does not know will spend eternity in hell, separated from God and His goodness forever. So it is crucial that we find out what it really means to be known by Jesus. In the day of judgment, you don’t want to hear Jesus declare, “I never knew you; depart from Me…” (Matthew 7:23).
Warning! “I Never Knew You” (Matthew 7:21-24)
Matthew 7:21-24 is a strong warning to every person who professes to be a Christian. Read through it slowly. God has recorded it because He loves us.
The Context: Jesus is nearing the end of His “Sermon on the Mount”.
In Matthew 7:13-14, He instructs us to “enter through the narrow gate.” There are two paths in life. One has a wide gate and a broad way. This path leads to destruction. It is the path taken by the majority of people. The other path has a small, narrow gate and a narrow way. This path leads to eternal life, and only a few find it.
In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus likens people to trees. A person is either a “bad tree” that produces bad fruit, or a “good tree” that produces good fruit. He says, “You will know them by their fruits.”
“21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Day of Judgment
This passage is a frightening warning. “On that day” (the day of judgment), many who consider themselves to be Christians will be shocked and terrified to discover Jesus doesn’t claim them as His own. They have not found the narrow way that leads to eternal life. Instead, without realizing it, they have entered through the wide gate and have been following the broad highway that leads to destruction. They are “bad trees” that produce bad fruit.
The Only Way
There is only one way to enter through the narrow gate. Only one way to find the answer to the questions, “Does Jesus know you?”, and “Are you going to Heaven?”. Do you know what it is?
With a humble heart, we must believe and accept the gospel (the Good News of salvation through Christ) as the only way God has prescribed for coming to Him. The gospel reveals God’s remedy for mankind’s biggest problem: Sin.
God’s Point of View
From God’s point of view, everyone has sinned against Him and deserves judgment. Sin is a terrible offense against His holiness, and there is nothing we can do to save ourselves from His just wrath. No amount of good works can pay for our sins. Therefore, everyone needs a Savior. Out of love for us, God Himself provided the only Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the sinless Son of God, took on Himself the punishment that should have been ours. He paid for our sins with His own precious blood on the cross. Then God raised Him from the dead, proving that Jesus is the Son of God and that God accepted His sacrifice on the cross for us.
How Should We Respond?
First, we must admit that we are sinners. We can’t save ourselves and we need a Savior. We must acknowledge that Christ paid for our sin and must turn from our sin and accept Christ as our Savior and Lord. This is a commitment to follow and obey Him, to submit to His authority in our life.
When we humble ourselves and come to God in this way, He saves us. He forgives us, washes away our sins, and gives us Christ’s righteousness. He gives us His Holy Spirit, who changes our heart and empowers us to live a godly life. We receive eternal life. We no longer have to pay for our own sins. Christ has done it for us.
The Bible is clear that salvation is a gift of God’s grace through faith. It is not a result of anything we have done, so no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). Although good works can never earn us salvation, they are an expected fruit of having a personal relationship with Christ.
We enter through the small, narrow gate and stay on the narrow way when we trust that our salvation is based not on our own ability or righteousness, but on what Christ has done for us. Only a few enter by this gate because it requires humility.
The wide gate with the broad way is by far the more popular. It is not a single way, but encompasses all other ways. Those on this path put their faith in their own works, their own ability. They are self-righteous rather than righteous through Christ.
Let’s look again at Matthew 7:21-24.
Verse 21 Who will enter the kingdom of heaven? Not those who only give Christ lip service, but those who have done the will of the Father by accepting Christ in the manner He has prescribed. Through their relationship with Christ, they continue to produce the good fruit of doing the will of the Father .
Verse 22 On the day of judgment, many who consider themselves to be Christians and think they are going to Heaven will give God works-based reasons why they should be admitted to Heaven. Their confidence is in what they – not Christ – have done. Though outwardly they appear spiritual, they have never humbled themselves to accept the gospel. They are seeking their own glory, not Christ’s.
Verse 23 “I never knew you;” From Jesus’ point of view, they had never had a relationship with Him.
“Depart from Me.” Because they had never accepted Christ’s payment for their sins, they were now required to pay for their sins themselves – separated from God’s goodness, tormented in hell forever.
“You who practice lawlessness.” All sin is lawlessness. Since they had no true relationship with Christ, their hearts had never been changed. There was no good fruit in their lives.
Verse 24 Be a doer of the Word, not just a hearer. Be wise and build your life on the Rock – on Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:19 is a foundational Scripture that we would do well to memorize and reflect on often.
2 Timothy 2:19
“19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His” and “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.”
How about you? Who or what are you trusting in for your salvation? Does Jesus know you?
Take the first step toward a relationship with God. If you are not certain that you belong to Jesus, read “How Can I Know God?”.
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