Summary: Jesus knows us. But how well? What are the implications?
“I Know My Sheep” (John 10:27)
Of all the people in the world, who knows you the best? If you are married, perhaps that person would be your spouse. Or maybe for you, your mother or father is the one person in the world who knows you better than anyone else. Maybe it’s a brother or sister, or best friend. Who is it, that often times knows what you are thinking, even before you even say it? Who is it, that can predict the things that you do? Who can finish your sentences for you? Who knows you, better than anyone else?
Ultimately, no one knows you better than you know yourself. Even the people that are closest to you, really don’t know you the way you know yourself. There are certain things you keep to yourself, certain thoughts you don’t want to share, certain things that bother you or scare you or interest you, and no one knows about those things except you. Of all the people in the world, the person who knows you the best is you.
But don’t forget about how well Jesus knows you. “I know my sheep,” Jesus says in John chapter 10. There he tells us that he is the Good Shepherd, and that he knows his sheep. Today we are going to talk about what that means, to be known by Christ, the Good Shepherd. How well does Jesus really know us? Today we’ll ponder that question, as we focus one more time, this Sunday, on that picture of Christ, the Good Shepherd, who knows us, his sheep.
It’s interesting to me how a shepherd can actually perceive differences in his sheep. From our casual point of view, all sheep look the same. Different shapes and sizes, but for the most part, they’re a dime a dozen – if you’ve seen one sheep, you’ve seen them all. Right? Not true. You see, a shepherd spends a lot of time with his sheep, and as he does, he gets to know the different personalities and quirks of each one of his sheep. That one over there, he might say, likes to stray away. This one over here, he gets tired all the time. And this one, well, he is very bad at finding pasture. You gotta watch out for this one – he’s mean. And that one over there is always running ahead – overconfident. Each sheep has its own personality, different strengths and weaknesses, and a good shepherd will know what those different things are about his sheep. He knows them.
In the same way, Jesus says that he knows you. “I know what each one of your personalities are like,” Jesus says. “I know your strengths, and I know your weaknesses.” Jesus knows you. But it goes deeper than that. When Jesus says that he knows you, it means more than you and I can really comprehend.
The Bible says that Jesus knew each one of you even before the creation of the world. Even before the mountains were made, and the rivers and oceans were formed, Jesus knew your name. Before you were born, he knew who your parents would be. He knew what your genetic makeup would be. He knew what your family life would be like as you grew up as a child. Before you were alive, Jesus knew all these things about you.
Today, he knows things about you that you don’t even know about yourself. He knows what you were like as a two-year old – something you can’t remember. He knows how your brain works. He knows what different things you are predisposed to, both good and bad. Sometimes you hear people say, “I just found out something about myself the other day.” Jesus would say, “I already knew that.” He knows you much better than you will ever know yourself.
What do you think Jesus’ opinion is, about you, since your life is an open book to him? Remember, he knows your thoughts. All those things you keep to yourself, those secrets in your mind, he knows what those secrets are. And he knows your history - those sins you have committed in your life, and you know what they are – some of those sins are things you don’t want anyone to ever know about. But Jesus knows about them. He knows everything about you. Every thought you have ever had, every word you have ever spoken, every deed you have ever done, even the secret things, Jesus knows.
What do you think his opinion is, about you? Not very good? “If Jesus knows me that well, he must not think very highly of me. He must see me as a very sinful person.” Remember, your whole life, including your private life, is an open book to him. Perhaps you might think, “If this is true, then I’m lost. I’m going to hell. There is no way Jesus would want me in heaven with him, since he knows all these things that I have done in my life.”