What if Jesus Never Knew You?

Sep 17, 2018 2645

What if Jesus Never Knew You

It’s bad enough not to know Jesus, but it would be infinitely worse if he doesn’t know you! What if Jesus never knew you?

I was asked a question recently. Who are the people to whom Jesus says, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” in Matthew 7:23? What is it that gets such a strong reaction from Jesus?

Let’s look at the context. These are the people who say to Jesus:

Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? (Matt 7:22).

How is it that Jesus rejects these people who did good things, but accepts the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39–43), who, as far as we know, may never have done anything good in his entire life?

Who are these people? They are the ones who present their works before God as their grounds for their being accepted by him. To understand the difference between these people and the thief on the cross is to understand the whole Gospel.

A whole lifetime of good deeds and law-keeping of the religious people in Matthew 7 did not count one little bit towards their salvation. Conversely a whole lifetime of crime and lawlessness was not counted by Jesus against the thief on the cross. The religious people in Matthew 7 plead their good works as the basis of their acceptance before God. The thief on the Cross has nothing to plead; he simply trusts in Jesus. What makes the difference between these two is not how they have lived their lives, but instead, the attitude of their hearts towards God.

If you’ve believed in Jesus, then you’re already saved.

But, you may say to me, if how the people in Matthew 7 have lived makes no difference, why does Jesus reject them for being literally “lawbreakers” (translated as “evil-doers”)?

The reason is that the apostle Paul tells us that none can be saved through the law (or by obedience or by good works or whatever you wish to call it). As a result these people are lawbreakers before God, because all their sins count against them, and their good deeds count for nothing. The thief on the cross, on the other hands, is forgiven, and is counted as completely perfect before God. As the Apostle Paul says,

no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law… But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known…. This righteousness is given through Jesus Christ to all who believe (Rom 3:20–22, NIV).

Because if you’ve believed in Jesus (and for as long as you believe) you’re already saved. Then obedience will be the natural outworking of the love of God in the born-again heart, manifested in acts of loving service (Rom 13:10; Matt 22:36–40; Gal 5:14).

The question of “What if Jesus Never Knew You” is too horrific to contemplate. Thanks to his love for you, it will never be one you will need to consider.

– Eliezer Gonzalez

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Sep 25, 2018

thanks am always inspired and have grown to be looking for Jesus every day

mariamu ngonde

Sep 25, 2018

thanks,God bless you

marsha henry

Sep 24, 2018

yes i am growing spiritually in qoutes and texts i receive. be blessed!

Clement C. Ganizani

Sep 24, 2018

Spiritually, am growing day by day following your posts. May God bless you more in Jesus name..

Kabagambe Fred

Sep 24, 2018

Thanks Elieser God blesses you Have peace hope and blessing in Jesus name

ketema damu

Sep 23, 2018

Thanks,Eliezer. God bless you.

Eliezer Gonzalez

Sep 19, 2018

You're welcome, Bruce. – Grace and peace, Eliezer

Bruce Starr

Sep 18, 2018

Thanks, Eliezer, for a great explanation of what has been a puzzling verse.

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