Monday, March 31, 2008

Does Jesus know us?

Are we on our way through the narrow gate if we associate with Jesus, if we talk with Jesus, and if we know His teaching? If we continue to live a lifestyle characterized by doing evil, then apparently not. (see Luke 13:22-30)

This goes back to what it means to be a follower of Christ. It is not just an association, a proclamation, or even a desire. It is a lifestyle that is affected in every manner including how we think, what we believe, and finally what we do.

Eating with someone was a very intimate and personal activity during the earthly life and ministry of Jesus. In fact, it is still this way in many parts of the world. It indicated friendship, acceptance, and personal association. That is why the Pharisees were so aghast when Jesus ate with sinners, prostitutes, and tax collectors. Many thought that once they had achieved this level of intimacy with Jesus that they were in. They thought they had made it and were considered His disciples. However, Jesus completely shocked them when He said “I don’t know you or where you have come from.” Why did Jesus not know them? Why were they headed for the wide gate instead of the narrow gate? Jesus said it is because they were doers of evil.

Who we are is much more than our names, our titles, our associations, our beliefs, and our friends. Who we are is how we live. Who we are is what we do and what we don’t do. Jesus looks at the whole man. Let’s never fool ourselves into thinking that our actions really don’t matter. Our actions, our practices, and how we treat others is a much better indication of who we are than who we “say” we are. Our actions reflect our heart. Our actions are essentially an outward expression of our inward condition.

When we have truly been affected by Christ and in turn truly love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and love our neighbors as ourselves, then our actions will begin to become the actions of a disciple of Christ. They will become the actions of one who Jesus recognizes.
"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!' - Luke 13:26-27

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