Do I know You?

Look at what they are saying about Yeshua!  Without a gospel filter – Biblical sunglasses – the path leads to the brink of a contradictory and unproductive life.  Remember how Peter opposed the Lord’s last journey to Jerusalem?  He thought he was on to something noble but he had no idea how much of a stumbling block (a skandalon) he was becoming.   Peter was not under condemnation; far from it.  He was a disciple under the Master’s intense scrutiny and tutelage.  Yeshua knew him too well.  The question of mutual knowledge is still relevant:  but it does not turn on how well do I know God, but does He know me.

Eager to find peer-approval we usually find ourselves saying yes to every proposal especially those that offer personal gain or comfort, but the road that leads to spiritual fruit and a graceful character is not on our fave list.  How can God recognize those who claim to follow His Messenger if they keep avoiding  the path?

An easy way to get people to say “Amen” is to say something that awes us whether it provides edification or some kind of  redemption or not.  Among the popular crowd-stirrers are “What God can do”, “God is the same, yesterday, today and forever”, “Only believe”, and the granddaddy of doublespeak “God is here in this room “.  We do not need deep Bible study to know that statements such as these are not absolute in their application to the Christian believer, and need to be interpreted.  For example: where do the  genocidal and xenophobic commands of God stand today?  Is swearing – the uttering of oaths – acceptable practice?

It seems that preachers have forgotten that Yeshua has something to say about what we have to say about Him.  We get audiences to jump and prance, sing and dance, and we declare that the sick are well and the bound are free.  In summary, we perform like the prophets of Baal on Mount Camel and like them we end up without a reliable witness.  What does Yeshua say?

If you want to spent your time on trances, healings,  exorcisms, and prophetic decrees, be prepared to hear “Do I know you?”

What is behind the preoccupation with physical healing if the Christian life is “all about the spirit”?  What is the point of God “coming into  a room” when His residence in believers is not on the agenda?  What is the point of telling people what God can do without an inkling of what He is doing?

The point of doing great things when you are a nobody, unknown to the Boss is that you are a like boxer punching the air, looking good at the weigh-in, but having nothing to show in the ring.

“Do I know you?” may be a mild disappointment when it comes from a peer or a superior, but when one comes to the great day of reckoning expecting a commendation for all the good stuff one has done the question is devastating.  “Do I know you?”  is a stiff rebuke to people who thought that all they needed to do in following Messiah and obtaining His approval was to accumulate brownie points for demonstrating miraculous powers, prophecy, and exorcism.   It is far better to rely on belonging rather than on performance.

Yeshua’s first disciples, after conducting a missionary tour,  were overjoyed that they could exercise power over demons, but Yeshua cautioned them and advised them that their priorities were in disarray.  According to Yeshua, they ought rather to be in joy-mode over the fact that they had been enrolled as kingdom citizens (Luke 10:17-20)

“I never knew you” is the last thing you want to hear from the great Rewarder.  So why don’t we get on with the love: receive it and serve others with it.  Let us carry on with the hope: receive it and inspire others with it.  Let us make our faith count: make sure, above all, that we are known.  It is Peter, the same, scandalous and brash big brother, who seems to have learnt this important lesson as we read in his letter.

For this reason, brethren, be all the more in earnest to make sure that God has
called you and chosen you; for it is certain that so long as you practise these
things, you will never stumble. 2 Peter 1:10