One of the most profound promises in scripture comes from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church.
This is the promise from 1 Corinthians 13:12: “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Those last four words stand out: “I am fully known.” God knows us, from the number of hairs on our heads1 to what’s in our hearts.2 God already knows us inside and out; He desires that we know Him just as intimately. This is the end result of knowing Jesus: a promise that we will someday know God as fully and completely as God knows each of us.
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”#knowingJesuschanges”]God already knows us inside and out; He desires that we know Him just as intimately.[/inlinetweet]
The creator of the universe wants us to know Him and promises that we will no longer experience a pale and veiled reflection of God’s goodness but experience deep and perfect relationship with God Himself. What an incredible promise!
We can already begin to know God now, if only in part. We know God through knowing His Son, as Jesus said in the gospel of John: “If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”3
Knowing Jesus is a relationship, but what kind of relationship is it? Master and servant? Lord and subject? God and worshipper?
To a certain extent, each of those is true, but Jesus describes the relationship in another way as He talks to His disciples in the gospel of John: “I no longer call you servants…Instead, I have called you friends.”4
Jesus also says something that might sound odd to our modern ears: “You are my friends if you do what I command.”5 That’s not something we normally ask of our friends, that they follow commands, but the context reveals exactly what command Jesus wants us to obey, which is far more fitting for friends.
“This is my command: Love each other.”6
This is where knowing Jesus leads: love. If we know God, we will love each other, because God is love. John Milton once said, “The end of all learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love and imitate Him.”
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=”- John Milton”]”The end of all learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love and imitate Him.”[/inlinetweet]
Paul gives us a picture of what it means to know God and imitate Him: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”7
That makes it wholly appropriate that the promise of knowing God fully comes after Paul writes so eloquently about love. We will know God — and know love — fully and completely.
What an incredible promise.
- Matthew 10:30
- Acts 15:8
- John 14:7
- John 15:15
- John 15:14
- John 15:17
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7