Every day I learn new things about my wife. I thought I knew my wife 3 years ago when I married her, but that knowledge has been trumped many times over as I continue to learn more about my wonderful wife. My current knowledge of Stephane will likely seem elementary in another three years. I can only imagine how well we will know one another at our 50th wedding anniversary. That’s not to say that just because you spend a lot of time together automatically means you know that person. We’ve all met couples that have been married for eons that truly don’t “know” their mate. But the reward of daily pursuing your spouse is a deeper, more intimate relationship and a greater knowledge of the one you love. Most people have a desire to “know” and “be known” by another person and when it is realized, it is wonderful.
In the apostle John’s first letter, he writes like he “knew” the risen Christ. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life – the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us – that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:1-3).
Here was a man who truly knew Jesus Christ. The apostle John is arguing that Jesus was a real man. The incarnation was no mere myth – it is historical fact! John and the other disciples had the great privilege of hanging out with Jesus for around 3 years. If anyone knew Jesus, it was John, the beloved disciple. He could speak with authority on the matter. “The life was made manifest, and we have seen it and testify to it.” But it wasn’t just the life of Christ that he spoke of. John also testified concerning the death and resurrection of the Christ. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). John knew Jesus of Nazareth and he enjoyed ongoing fellowship with him even though by this time, Jesus was reigning in heaven. You ask, how – how could John still be in relationship with Jesus? The answer is through the Holy Spirit. “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit” (1 John 4:13).
The amazing thing is that even today, almost 2000 years later, we can know Jesus just as John knew Jesus. Sure, in this life, we can’t see and touch like him John did for a time, but we can know Jesus through the Word and through the Spirit. I find it tragic that all too often professing Christians are unwilling to seek and pursue Christ. The bible says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). How amazing it is to think that we can know God through his Son Jesus Christ! How amazing it is to think that we can have a relationship with the God of this universe! And just like a marriage relationship, God intends for the believer’s knowledge of him to grow, day by day. Perhaps it is necessary for you to pray and ask God for a hunger and thirst for Jesus. Your appetite may be weak, but God can and will pour into your life a hunger and thirst for righteousness that you have never enjoyed before.