What does it mean to know someone or something? “Know” by definition is to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly with certainty, to have established or fixed in the mind or memory. See! It’s a wonderful thing to have the ability to know something.
I know my wife and what makes her tick and what makes her happy.
I know my children in the same way.
I know where I live so I can find my way home.
I know what I drive so that I don’t get into the wrong van in the mall parking lot.
I know when my birthday is so I know when you tell people ahead of time.
I know where I was born so I know I’m Canadian
I know who my parents are to look at or hear their voice.
I know what interests me and what doesn’t
I know what I’m capable of and what I’m not.
I know my sin and my selfish desires.
On the flip side……
I know my Redeemer who saved me from myself.
I know Jesus is my deepest and greatest desire.
I know that Jesus is who He claimed to be.
I know so much about Jesus because of what I read in the bible through the Holy Spirit.
So with that understanding of the word “know” let me ask you this question! What does it mean to know…...let me rephrase that! What does it mean to truly know Jesus Christ? The bible says we can know without a shadow of doubt…not even for a split second can a true Christian doubt that Jesus is who He claimed to be. The word “know” is used 957 times in 889 verses. There is a lot that we can know from the scriptures……for example!
WE KNOW THAT GOD IS THE CREATOR OF THIS UNIVERSE “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Gen 1:1
WE KNOW THAT THE TRUINE GOD JUDGED THE EARTH WITH A WORLD WIDE FLOOD “And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, "I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” Gen 6:12-13
WE KNOW HE IS A GOD WHO CARES AND PROVIDES FOR HIS CREATION “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matt 6:8
WE KNOW THAT GOD SENT HIS SON TO DIE FOR SINFUL MEN AND WOMEN. “just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:15
WE KNOW THAT HE KNOWS WHO ARE HIS. “But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: "The Lord knows those who are his,"…” 2 Tim 2:19
WE KNOW THAT HE PROVIDES A WAY OF ESCAPE FOR HIS CHILDREN “then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials” 2 Peter 2:9
WE KNOW THAT GOD IS ALL KNOWING “for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20
See other so-called faiths under the title of Religion say Jesus was……
- Michael the Arc Angel [Jehovah Witnesses]
- A Prophet [Islam]
- Good Rabbi/Teacher [Judaism]
- Myth [New Age]
- A Liar & a Lunatic [the Atheist]
- A crutch & hoax [the postmodern world]
The underlining theme each of these have in common is? They denounce Christ as being God. But I’m here to tell you they are completely off base and absolutely wrong.
Jesus is God in human flesh displaying the love of God towards lost sinners like us.To know Jesus Christ is to be radically changed forever. Paul washer said “It is absurd to think that a man can believe in Christ, with his heart, and it not have a radical affect on the rest of his life.” ~ Paul Washer. Jesus is here to let us know that we can trust in Him alone, which brings me to our text this morning. I want to leave you with some biblical truths to knowing Jesus in this portion of scripture as Jesus confronts the so-called religious giants about how we can truly know Him.
TO KNOW JESUS IS TO FIND COMFORT AND HOPE. [V12-V19]
We see some very strong language here as Jesus answers the questions of the sceptic Pharisee’s. So! What is the comfort and hope that we see in this passage? (v12) “Shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” What is Jesus saying? “Darkness” denotes: sin, sometimes ignorance and unbelief [example the religious men standing before Jesus] Whether its sin, ignorance or unbelief the message conveys the same truth about darkness [that those who are in darkness do not believe in Jesus Christ]. Whether its sin, ignorance or unbelief those WHO ARE NOT in darkness [born again Christians] no longer walk daily in ignorance, [habitual] sin………………. or unbelief because they continually walk in the light of Christ found in redemption because He is light itself. “Light” in this portion of scripture is referring to the same way the sun gives light to the earth! See what the sun was to the earth, Jesus is to mankind. David said “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.” Ps 36:9. John wrote “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.” Rev 21:23-25
The Christian will not walk in darkness of sin, the world or Satan. Knowing that Jesus is our light in a blackened world. As J C Ryle said “he shall not live in doubt or uncertainty but sees the light that guides to Heaven.” Take an obstacle course walking through it blindfolded [stumbling into things because you cannot see] But remove the blindfolds on the same obstacle course under the guidance of Christ and His supernatural light and you will find then end. Look how he starts the sentence! “He who follows me” (v12) Who is the he? Those whom have tasted the supernatural work of God found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. “Follow” means disciple, soldier or sheep. This doesn't always mean copying and imitating [though we’re to reflect Jesus at all times……. but following also gives the meaning of trusting, putting faith in another [another, being Jesus Christ]. Jesus said "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt 5:14. Paul said “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” Eph 5:8. Brentius said “that if man could continually follow the sun, he would always be in broad daylight in every part of the globe. So it is with Christ and believers. Always following Him, they always have light. It’s not enough to gaze at the light and marvel…..we must follow it throughout our day. The Christian hope lies in this truth and Jesus is letting us know that He is the light that shines out of darkness. He will lead us through the darkness of this world. And we can know that blessed truth today! Do you trust in the Son as He lights your path home?
TO KNOW JESUS IS TO BE ILLUMINATED BY THE TRUTH [V31-V32]
“and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (v32) It’s an amazing thing that the God of the universe supernaturally gives us understanding to the gospel and the scriptures by the Holy Spirit. It’s not your wisdom that gives understanding. It’s not your ability that illuminates biblical truth. It’s by the amazing power of the third person of the TRINITY [the Holy Spirit]. Paul wrote these beautiful words to knowing the scripture….“Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. "For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.” That’s why Jesus said “you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (v32) “Truth” here is reference not only to the facts surrounding Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God. But also to the teachings that He taught! As John MacArthur said “a genuinely saved and obedient follower of the Lord Jesus will know divine truth and both freedom from sin.” As Jesus says in (v34) a freedom from the bondage of sin which can only come from the truth found in Christ. The scripture illuminate this wonderful truth into the heart of the newly regenerate person. It’s only by Jesus and the truth of His word that a person can truly know Him whether it’s for: Redemption......Regeneration..........Sanctification..........Glorification. All this has been made possible and known by the truth of Jesus Christ. And this is the truth that will set you free.Do you believe the bible? Has the Holy Spirit illuminated the truth to your heart, mind and soul?
TO KNOW JESUS IS TO KNOW ULTIMATELY GOD [V54-V58]
“before Abraham was, I AM” This is a bold statement because it literally means “I am God” and this would have struck a cord with them especially after what Jesus previously said (v19) Jesus declared himself to be the eternally pre-existent God who revealed himself throughout scripture [whether its Old or New] Even Abraham spoke to Jesus when he pleaded for the people of Sodom. Moses at the burning bush is the greatest of examples! Exo 3:14. I don’t need to see God to believe God! Why? Jesus came and declared He was God and that He came to save sinners. Remember what the blind man, who now sees, said in his encounter with Jesus after he was excommunicated and basically disowned by his parents in John chapter 9? Jesus heard what they did and approached this man and said "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" John 9:35.....And his response to Jesus’s question! "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?" (v36). This is what I don’t what you to miss! Jesus said "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you." And He said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. (John 9: 37-38). Jesus said these words to the disciples in John 14:6-9 “………."I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him." Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. We know by what we read in the scriptures that Jesus is God….just as the Father and the Holy Spirit are equal amongst the Trinity.
I WANT TO STOP THERE TO LET THIS TRUTH SOAK IN! I want to leave you with few questions to think about for the week……….with the underlying theme though Do you truly know Him? Has he given you light which gives life? Has He illuminated the truth of His words to you heart which sets you free from the bondage of sin and this world? Do you believe that He is God or do you believe that Jesus is some man as the religions proclaim he was? How will they know that I’m a Christian? By how you answer those questions. Remember the Pharisee’s thought they knew the truth, but all they had were swelled self-righteous heads with knowledge that leads to morals and death. And sadly the outcome is tragic! The bible says “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” Matt 7:23. Jesus said all who come to me find light, rest truth and freedom from yourself …..but it requires you to leave yourself at the door and embrace Him as He is……… “before Abraham was, I AM” The all-knowing, sustaining, full of mercy and grace Lord of the universe who came to redeem sinful men and woman by coming in the form of flesh to show His love for blind and hopeless sinners who desperately need Jesus Christ….the Light of the world who came by giving His life for you and me. That’s what it truly means to know him personally! That’s the gospel truth!