Revisitting Matthew 7:21-23:
“21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 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 perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ NIV
The more I think and pray about Matthew 7:21-23 the more I am convinced that this is THE BIG QUESTION. Ie:
DOES GOD REALLY KNOW US?
Now before you start thinking I am going a bit weird and disregarding half of the Bible let me explain what I mean. I know that God created us. I know God knows everything about us. I know God knows what is in our hearts. I know He has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives. I know that He loves us otherwise He wouldn’t of sent Jesus to die for us. So why am I asking ‘DOES GOD REALLY KNOW US‘?
Let me explain why I think this is the big question (ie: not ‘a big question’ but ‘the big question’). Let us try to understand Matthew 7:21-23.
Firstly, we have a conversation between Jesus and someone who thinks that they know Him. So, my first point:
1) We can deceive ourselves into thinking we know Jesus!
Wow! I mean we can ‘get it’ that we need to be in relationship with Jesus but the relationship is one sided and hollow and empty. We deceive ourselves. The relationship isn’t really a relationship in the true sense of a reciprocal healthy relationship. It is a one sided relationship that is really no relationship at all! We deceive ourselves. Perhaps we treat our relationship with Jesus the same way we treat all our other relationships ie: ‘what can I get out of this relationship’, or ‘what is in this for me’, or ‘God, meet my needs’. Well, that leaves us in a pretty precarious position. If we can deceive ourselves about our relationship with Jesus how do we really know Him or rather how do we put ourselves in the position of God knowing us?
Context of the Verses:
Let’s look at the context of Jesus’ Words. These verses come at the end of what we call ‘The Sermon on the Mount’ (which consumes all of Matthew chapters 5, 6, and 7, so read it all). These verses come nearly at the end of Jesus’ message, in the midst of teachings about ‘the narrow gate’, ‘false prophets and good and bad fruit’ and ‘putting Jesus’ Word into practice’.
So, these verses come towards the end of Jesus’ message. He is giving this warning, don’t deceive yourselves, v21 ‘DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER’! and in His final Words in verses 24 to 27(read about building on the rock and not upon the sand) about not just hearing His Word but PUTTING HIS WORD INTO PRACTICE.
My second point:
2) Are we just hearer of the Word or do we put Jesus’ Words into practise?
Now how are we to understand v22 ‘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 perform many miracles?’ It seems they are doing the Word of God??? I have said in a previous blog that Jesus still honours His name through them even though He doesn’t know them. I think that sounds like a load of gobbligook! I am coming to the conclusion that these people in v22 know (about) the Word of God and are in a setting (ie: a church) and OTHERS are DOING the Word of God and therefore are saying to Jesus ‘didn’t WE‘ do these things instead of ‘didn’t I‘ do these things. So these verses (I believe) are for those who hear the Word of God and are deceiving themselves about their relationship with God. They aren’t LIVING His Word and DOING His will and are somehow thinking they are going to enter Heaven by association with others (that are doing His will). How many people would think that way?…
Jesus says ‘MANY will say didn’t we…’
There’s so much more I need to say but….
I’ve got to go to work 🙂
Lord, allow your Word to speak to us today!