Prayer and Reflections

Do You Really Know Him?

He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
- John 1:10

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, may we each evaluate whether we really know the One for whom the season is celebrated. Although we may have many acquaintances, there are very few people most of us relate to intimately enough to say we really know them. 

Throughout the Old Testament, there were many prophecies regarding the promised Messiah, yet when He came, many failed to recognize Him. One of Jesus’ greatest declarations was in reply to Philip’s request that Jesus show them the Father: “He who has seen Me, has seen the Father.” (John. 14:9) 

Some people of Jesus’ day knew Him simply as the son of Joseph and Mary (John 6:42). Others knew Him for His supernatural power (John 1:33), or for His ability to know their hearts (John 1:25) and read their thoughts (John 16:19). Others knew Him for His healing power and miracles (Mark 1:54). The chief priests and elders knew Him as their enemy, who spoke in opposition to their religious/political agenda (Mark 12:12). Sadly, many failed to know Him for who He really was—the Son of God, the promised Messiah. 

Even Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ most devoted followers, did not know Him when she went to the grave and found it empty (John 20:14). Luke 24:16 records the story of two travelers on the road to Emmaus who did not know Him when, after His resurrection, He began walking with them. And it was only after walking and talking with Him that “their eyes were opened and they knew Him.” (Luke 24:31) 

Is it possible to attend church regularly, tithe your income, read through your Bible, even serve in ministry and not really know Him? Yes! Many have grown up with head knowledge of Jesus, but without heart knowledge. They know who He is intellectually but have never established a personal relationship by putting their faith and trust in Him, and that is what He desires most. 

Unfortunately, often it is only after a major crisis, when the props of our self-reliance have fallen, that we really know Him—not just for what He can do but Who He is! When we cry out in our need and are at the end of ourselves, He responds in grace, mercy, and loving kindness rather than condemnation, and we see and know Him as never before. 

Head knowledge and heart knowledge together produce an understanding that results in a closer, more intimate relationship with Him. As a result, our worship, church attendance, Bible reading, and ministry take on an additional dimension. They are the by-products of our growing relationship with Him and not a means of trying to appear righteous. 

If you do not really know Jesus and do not have a personal relationship with Him, I pray You will not let the season pass without seeking Him with all Your heart. Yes, He wants your service, but even more, He wants a relationship with you. Nothing on earth can ever equal the hope, peace, and joy that is yours in such a relationship. For those who have “lost” that intimacy, simply confess your failures to Him and be renewed in your relationship. 

Although we will never fully know Him until we meet Him in eternity, we can begin to know Him now through prayer, regular meditation on the Word, and exercising faith and trust in trying situations. It's the most valuable gift you could ever receive this Christmas. 

Merry Christmas, fellow traveler!

The Meaning of Christmas

From the manger to the Cross,
To His throne in heaven above,
Jesus came, then died and rose again,
Showing the world God’s agape love.

For in His incarnation,
Taking on the flesh of man,
Jesus identified with earthly souls
And through His ministry, shared God’s plan.

And as He went to Calvary’s cross,
To pay a debt He did not owe,
He sacrificed His life that all
Might the heavenly Father intimately know.

And as we celebrate His birth,
In gratitude, in worship and praise,
We show the world the peace and joy
That gives hope to all our days.

© 2021, Doris Haver Rouse

For more Christmas poems from previous years, see Reflections on Christmas, available at Amazon.com.