“I never knew you”

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matthew 7:21-23

Right after He comments on false prophets, Jesus has a few things to say about false disciples. Many people say they believe in Jesus without doing the Father’s will; that isn’t going to cut it on the last day. I want to be careful here not to give the impression that I am suggesting that they somehow haven’t earned their salvation, for salvation is not something we earn; it is God’s free gift. However, receiving grace demands a response, and it seems to me that Jesus is telling us that where there is no response other than saying, “yeah sure, I believe in Jesus,” and then going on with business as usual, we have a false disciple. I say this because of the discussion in the last section; look at the fruit. If there is not fruit, then you are no disciple.

There are many groups out there who claim to be Christian, but who are not. There are many religious leaders who take on the form and appearance of following Jesus, but who do not, and they have many followers who do likewise, and are not followers of Jesus at all, in spite of what they may claim. This is what Jesus is warning us about.

Take particular note of verse 23 where He tells how it is that He knows this: “I never knew you”. Do you see the relational aspect of that? To “know” Jesus is to be in relationship with Him; it is quite a different matter than simply “believing in” Him… as the Devil and his demons do.

Here is a trustworthy saying: Relationship with Jesus always brings about a response; where there is no response, there is most likely no relationship.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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8 Responses to “I never knew you”

  1. Explained very well…to know Jesus. May we all grow in that relationship.

  2. Russ says:

    Your comments are on target. For those who “claim” to be a Christian, they will find it hard to accept because they have been blinded by the lies of the enemy. It is my daily prayer that I will manifest the fruit of my love for Jesus so that others will be blessed and turn toward Jesus. Blessings to you Don.

  3. Pingback: “I never knew you” | A disciple's study

  4. I struggle with this, because I am not Jesus (nor Peter, Paul, Timothy…). Struggles like the difference between loving everybody and accepting everybody. Where is the intersection of these two circles, and what lies outside of the intersection?

  5. Reblogged this on The Porch of the Lord and commented:
    The following is another message from “The Life Project.” Of course, the Lord knows those who have heartfelt, sincere relationship with Him, even those, who in their last moments, such as “the thief on the cross,” crucified next to Jesus, was told, when he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom, that he would be with Him in paradise. But Jesus’ words about knowing Him are important to remember, to encourage us to seek fellowship with Him and follow His leading in our daily lives.

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