2 Kings 24:8-17; Psalm 79:1-5, 8-9;Matthew 7:21-29
I never knew you. (Matthew 7:23)
Have you ever known a namedropper? You know, someone who always mentions the important people he or she knows? Usually, this is exaggerated, with some distant connection or contact turning into, “Oh, I know that person!” Who among us hasn’t been tempted to use a famous name to gain influence or respect among our acquaintances?
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is making it clear that name-dropping doesn’t work with him. He wants to have a real relationship with us. He wants us to know him personally, just as he knows us. He doesn’t want us to settle for book knowledge or just a passing acquaintance. Even if we’re busy doing his work—whether in our homes, in our communities, or in our parishes—he wants us also to be growing closer to him in our hearts. Jesus doesn’t just want servants; he wants friends.
So what does it mean to know Jesus? How does anyone go about building a relationship with the eternal Son of God? It may sound awfully hard, but it really isn’t all that complicated or mysterious. It’s pretty much the same way you build a relationship with anyone else. You spend time with him; you talk to him; you listen to him; you learn to trust him; you share secrets with him; you let him see you at your best and at your worst.
Don’t let the tone of today’s Gospel reading frighten you. Jesus is concerned that we come to know him, but he’s not about to abandon us because our relationship with him isn’t as deep as the holiest of saints. Rather than worrying about whether Jesus will say, “I never knew you,” make it your goal to come to know him better.
Wherever you are with Jesus now, try to go a little deeper. As you read Scripture this week, listen for his still, small voice in your heart. Get in the habit of writing down what you think he is saying. Then take the time to talk to him. Tell him about your day. Open up about your hopes and fears, and see if you sense him offering you his guidance or consolation. By investing in this relationship, you are building your house on a foundation solid enough to withstand any storm.
“Lord, I want to know you and to be known by you. Draw me to yourself.”~WAU