Summary: Do we really want to know Jesus personally and intimately, or do we just know about Jesus?
Intro Video: A Greater Need (available for download from Sermon Central)
Do we really want to know Him?
If Jesus is all the Bible claims Him to be, Son of God, taking the penalty of my sins, shedding His blood for me, as my Savior, I want to know Him.
Philippians 3:7–11 (NKJV) 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
In the Greek there are two words we translate meaning “to know”
gnosis - to know by learning, by the senses, investigation, Book learning, is this type of knowledge.
ginosko? – to have understanding. To perceive, to have intimacy, to relate from personal experience.
Opening Illustration. When I first met my wife, Ellen, I learned a few things about her. She was from Ohio, was Veterinarian, went to The Ohio State Univ. She lived in Valparaiso and she had a boat. She had boat, a 19’ chaparral, inboard/outboard Mercury engine, and no way to pull it. She drove a Camaro. I had a Ford Bronco 4x4 with a towing package. I do believe we were a match made in heaven!
Contrary to popular belief, the boat was not the prize, for in three years we sold/got rid of the boat. The real prize was Ellen. I wanted to know her more. I knew things about her. I had gnosis type knowledge about her.
I realize that I wanted to know her more. So I began to spend time with her (I asked her out). I wanted to have ginosko knowledge about her. I wanted to know what she thought, how she felt, and I wanted her to have ginosko knowledge about me.
Wanting to know each other and coming to know each other is called forming a relationship. I was completely taken up with wanting to know her more and more that I knew it would take a lifetime to really ginosko know her, so I asked her to marry me. And to my wonderment, she said, “Yes.”
Now 26 years later I am still getting to ginosko know her more every day. I still don’t have her all figured out, but I experience great joy in this process of knowing her more and more every day and realizing deeper and deeper what a wonderful woman that she truly is. (she had me figured out a long time ago, and she consented to keep me anyway!)
Do we really want to to ginosko know Jesus?
There was a day in my life I knew that I failed miserably to measure up to God’s standard and I was doomed to hell. It was hard to comprehend what the church was teaching. I did not understand how I should love a God I did not see, moreover, it was inconceivable that God who sees me fully, inside and out, would choose to still love me.
I knew (gnosis) the Bible stories and I knew about Jesus, but I really did not know (ginosko) Jesus. Then I began to understand the gospel; I began to comprehend what Jesus was all about. I began to know(ginosko) Jesus.
I realized that my salvation did not depend upon how good I am; it was fully dependent on how good God is.
This God, through His son Jesus, was someone I had to get to know. Life itself, depended on it. Knowing Jesus is everything.
John 17:3 (NKJV) And this is eternal life, that they may KNOW You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
That they may KNOW - ginosko to know intimately, to know with understanding.
To really know Jesus, to have that relationship, means life itself. Why is it that we have to have things in our lives more important than life? More important than to ginosko knowing Jesus. Paul understood that.
Philippians 3:7–8 (NKJV) But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ