I was reading in Matthew and came across Jesus's response to the "many" who think they're in -- "Lord, Lord, look what we've done in Your name" -- but aren't. "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" (Matt 7:23) It's a stunning phrase, really. "I never knew you," says the Omniscient Savior. And, of course, He wasn't talking about "never had knowledge of your existence." He was talking about an intimacy, a personal relationship, a real connection. And then I read in Paul's letter to the Galatian Christians about their change of status from slaves to sin to free and saw this.
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? (Gal 4:9)Paul makes a point of turning the phrase around. They didn't become free from the slavery of sin by coming to know God; they became free by being "known by God". The reverse of the same concept Jesus was using. In the case of the "many" who were lost, He "never knew" them. In the case of the saved, they are saved because God "knows" them.
And then it struck me. Here, let me start small. I went to work for a company back in the early '90's whose president thought that the company's best asset was its people. The second day after I started there, the president walked by me in the hallway and said, "Hi, Stan. How are things working out?" I spoke with him briefly, but walked away amazed that the president of this not-very-small company knew my name. That's what struck me in these passages I've listed. I imagined that (unbiblical) moment when I stood before Saint Peter at the pearly gates and he started checking the books to see if my name was there. Jesus -- the ultimate authority, the Creator of all, the one in Whom all things consist -- walks by and says, "Oh, hey, Peter, I know him. That's Stan. Oh, yeah, let him in. He's a friend of mine. In fact, he is my adopted brother."
I can't imagine that. I can't fathom it. The God of the universe knows me. Not just that I exist. Knows me in an intimate, personal way. The same can be said for everyone who has a genuine relationship with Christ. Like David, I say, "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot grasp it." (Psa 139:6) It is beyond my comprehension.