From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. (2 Corinthians 5:16)
Did you know that there are two ways of knowing Jesus? The first way is naturally. When we are first exposed to Jesus, we know Him through our reason and perhaps our research, but all this knowing is “according to the flesh” and not of the Spirit. We know some facts about Jesus – what He said, what He did, and who He claimed to be. We knew Jesus, as Paul described it, “from a worldly point of view.” But knowing Jesus from a worldly point of view is no knowing at all! From a worldly perspective, we know Jesus as a man, not the Messiah; we know Jesus as a prophet, not the Prince of Peace; we know Jesus as a servant, not the Savior of the world. I say that knowing Jesus naturally is no knowing at all because simply gathering information will not lead to transformation. We need the Holy Spirit for that.
Remember that the disciples, who walked and talked and ministered with Jesus for more than three years, all ran and hid when He was arrested and crucified. Clearly, they knew Jesus “according to the flesh,” having walked with Him by sight rather than by faith. But on the day of Pentecost, when God poured out His Holy Spirit on them, they knew Jesus supernaturally. At this level of living, the Holy Spirit took their information and turned it into revelation, which ultimately resulted in transformation . . . and the rest is history. These disciples, who had once been so terrified of what men might do to them, went out boldly and turned the world upside down! They suffered all manner of hardship and persecution; church tradition tells us that all but John died a martyr’s death.
So . . . how do you know Jesus today? Is your knowing natural or supernatural? The answer is found in where you have placed your trust for salvation.
To know Jesus naturally is to walk by sight, according to the flesh. It is to acknowledge Him as a good teacher and perhaps even to follow some of His teachings, which many in the world do today. But let me say it again: Knowing Jesus naturally is no knowing at all. We must know Jesus supernaturally. You will know that you know the Lord Jesus Christ at this supernatural level when you have placed your trust in Christ alone—in His life, death, and resurrection, apart from anything you have done or ever will do—for your eternal salvation. When you know Jesus, not as a good man, but as the Good Shepherd who laid His life down for His sheep (John 10:14-15), you can be sure that the eyes of your heart have been opened by the Holy Spirit to see Jesus for who He truly is—the Lamb of God who died to atone for all your sins.
I want to close with a wonderful prayer from the apostle Paul that I hope you will meditate on and marinate in for a while. And if you do know Jesus at that supernatural level, thank Him one more time for answering this prayer in your own life.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you . . . (Ephesians 1:17-18)
May that hope of a life everlasting in Christ Jesus propel you forward today to live and work and speak in such a way as to encourage others to know Him . . . not naturally, but supernaturally!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!