There is a cliché “It isn’t what you know but who you know”. Ideally, it is great to have both going on, but it is true that knowing the right people can take us a long way. “Connections” in just about any area of life can open doors which are otherwise closed to us. There is a catch however – somewhere in the line of connections, we must really “know” someone in order for the “who” to be more important than the “what”. It is not enough to know about someone but we must know them deeply. It is in a close relationship where trust and loyalty is developed and we feel comfortable recommending them to others. And we get to know people deeply by spending time with them. Casual acquaintance does not allow opportunity to “see” beyond the surface.
As Christians “Who” we know is of utmost importance. Jesus is the “Who” and is the essential necessity of life. We can know all things and go lots of places, but if we do not know the One, we never experience true life and the only door that counts for anything eternally will remain closed to us. We can have all sorts of doors opened to us in this lifetime and it will mean nothing if we do not enter true life through “the Door”, Jesus Christ! John 10:9 reads “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
It is not enough to know about Jesus. It is great to know about Him, what He did, Who He is, and what He does for us today! But it is not what we know about Him that gives us peace and joy in life, but it is about knowing Him intimately and living with Him in a dynamic relationship which connects us to everything with meaning. Jesus says in John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” He knows us and He is known by us.
There are several definitions for knowing in the Greek language. For example there is “eido” which is to see with the mind’s eye or signifies a clear and purely mental perception. There is “epistamai” meaning knowledge obtained by proximity to something and has more to do with our “understanding”. Then there is “suniemi” implying a native insight or knowledge gained through our senses. But the Greek word for “know” and “known” here in John 10 is “ginosko” – In this context “knowing” denotes coming to know Jesus as Messiah; to know the fullness of His kindness towards us; to know the benefits resulting from fellowship with Him. Most importantly “ginosko” indicates a knowledge grounded in personal experience. Jesus says He is the good shepherd and He knows His sheep by personal experience. He knows because He created us and we are on His mind all the time.
But then Jesus says He is known by His own sheep. This means we know Him based on fellowshipping with Him, grounded in personal experience, and we think about Him all the time as well. Again, we see God as He is meant to be seen; as a God of relationship. Our knowledge of one another is based upon personal experience not simply knowing things about each other. This is also how we overcome in this world. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and the word of our testimony. (Revelation 12:11) This testimony must be based on personal experience not just something we have read about.
Talk to an unbeliever and they will tell you one of the reasons they do not believe is because Christians give them nothing to believe in. Unbelievers ask Christians to give them one example of what Jesus has done for them, and the response they always get is “He died for me”. To an unbeliever that means nothing because they do not know they need forgiveness. But start giving them testimony not only of what Jesus did but what He continues to do for you today and you give them something to ponder and Holy Spirit begins to work in their hearts. In other words, if our only testimony is that over 2000 years ago Jesus died to forgive us from my sins, He rose again, and is now preparing a place for us to live eternally with Him, we are not demonstrating the relationship we have with our good shepherd today. Though it is true we live in the glorious truth Jesus lived, died, and rose again, what other knowledge have we gained through personal experience in our lifetime that testifies of Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior? If we really want to give an unbeliever the opportunity to start thinking about the reality and truth of Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior, give them personal experience with God. Tell them stories about overcoming and how we have gained victory because we called out to Jesus. People will ginosko Jesus because we ginosko Him.
Our testimony must be a “today” testimony! Has He healed you from something physically or emotionally? We must tell others how He has done it! Even more, unbelievers will want to know how He healed us “outside” of medicine and doctors. Christians claim “Jesus healed me” but when further questioned, it is discovered they are taking medicine to treat the symptoms of a disease. In other words, they are managing it and giving God the glory. For an unbeliever, that is not going to cut it. Though it is true medicine and doctors are often used by God in the healing process, it is equally true with just a surface scan of Scripture, Jesus healed without the use of medicine and doctors. His testimony is not invalidated because we are in the 21st century and technologically advanced. And that my friends, will encourage believers and unbelievers alike to get into a relationship with this God who is all about love. Through ginosko, we experience a living, dynamic relationship and know Jesus through personal experience.
This ginosko gets even more meaningful when we look at John 10:15 “As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Father God knows Jesus through personal experience and Jesus knows the Father the same way. As a result, He lays down His life for those who know Him. Because Father and Jesus know each other through personal experience, Jesus also knows the will of His Father is to lay down His life for us, therefore He promptly obeys. Just as we know through personal experience the will of God, we must be willing to die to ourselves, crucify our flesh, and live for Him, promptly obedient to His will.
Friends, it really is about “who you know not what you know”. Jesus is the best shepherd. He is faithful and true. He is all good! Get connected! Stay connected! Enter through Him, the door! Believe that you “ginosko” Jesus because He said it! Do not settle for knowing about Jesus – Really know Him!