Summary: Most of us want to have a vibrant relationship with God. But knowing God is one of the great and most difficult challenges. In this lesson we discuss, what it means to know God.
I've got to tell you, one of the things that I want to know more than anything else is actually to know God. It's one of those deep desires I have, and longings that I have in my own heart. And I'm hoping that men out there listening want the same. But how do we know God? I mean, how do we really know God if we can't actually physically see him? And for those of us that actually do know him in a very personal way - I think it actually is a huge challenge to be able to describe to other people what it means to know God.
So this is an important discussion for us today. But if you have a hard time with this, and a hard time trying to understand how to know God. And a hard time explaining what it means to know God to other people - then, I've got to tell you-you are not alone. Because I'm looking at a text today from John, chapter 14 - beginning in verse 5 through 11, where there's a couple of dumbfounded guys in this text. They're just like you and me. They don't understand how to know God. And what's so fascinating about it - is that 2 of them are disciples, and they've just spent a couple of years with Jesus.
Now just toward the end of Jesus' life, Jesus is pointing his disciples in a direction. And he essentially says that he's not going to be with them any longer, and here's their response in John 14, verse 5. "Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?' Jesus said to him, 'I'm the way the truth in a life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would've known my father also. From now on you do know him, and have seen him.'"
Now I've got to say, this is probably one of the most divisive statements in the entire Bible - for sure in the Gospels, for Jesus to say that "I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life." Man, that's divisive. It's a significant statement. It's a profound proclamation that Jesus Christ, in essence, is part of the deity. He's God. And these guys don't exactly know what to do with that. Because you see, they want to know God, but Jesus is trying to tell them that, "I am him, and he is in me."
Now, Philip responds to this by playing all his cards. And he says, "Lord, show us the Father, and it's enough for us." And Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?" Now, this is one of those pandering statements that you would make to your 13-year-old son, right? Who you've just explained something to about 5 million times, and he still doesn't get it.
I think Jesus is having one of those moments with his disciples. Because he's essentially saying that, "You've been with me for like a long time. I've been with you every day for a couple of years, and you still don't get it?" And then Jesus says, "Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father?' Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me?" The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own authority - but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in Father, and the Father's in me. Or else believe on account of the works themselves."
Now, this is one of those fascinating moments where Jesus is having this interchange. And I - I kinda wonder what he's thinking and feeling in this moment, when he's gotten to the end of his life, and he knows it's about to end. And he's explaining a little bit more to the disciples, and they still don't get it. But I know that I'm no different than Thomas and Philip. And there are moments in my spiritual life that I simply don't get it. And I've got to be told again by Jesus, "Here's what it means to know him."
Now what's fascinating about this particular text is that there's something happening behind the words that we really can't see. Our English language doesn't quite capture the potency of this moment. Because there are some things happening in the Greek language that - they create a special interchange for us to understand what it really means to know God. Because these guys, they want to know God. But they just don't understand how to know him, okay?