Who Can Know?

November 9, 2020

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him (Matthew 11:27).

In college I was fascinated by the book 'These Sought a Country' written by Robert L. Cate, Professor of Old Testament at Golden Gate Seminary. It’s a history of Israel in the Old Testament, but its literary style is such a 5th grade student can understand it. I came to know something of Dr. Cate through his biography and book, but I was thrilled to get to know him personally when I attended Golden Gate Seminary. I was a student of his for 4 years.

The depth and breadth and height of the relationship between the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit cannot be fully known or understood. It is one thing to know about it through reading the Bible and listening to others preach, teach, and witness concerning them, but it is altogether different to know it fully.

In the flesh, Jesus fully understood He was the Messiah and what that truly meant. He fully understood His relationship to the Father. The word ‘know’, in this particular Greek construct, means ‘to fully know’ or ‘to know completely’. Only Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit know fully and completely the Father, for they are One. The only means whereby we can know the Father is through the willingness of Jesus to reveal Him to us. Otherwise, we can only know ‘about’ the Father, but not truly ‘know’ the Father.

Why is this important? Without knowing God the Father, no one can be saved, no one can be forgiven of sin, no one can experience abundant life here and eternal life hereafter. Jesus prayed, This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent (John 17:3). The word ‘know’, in this particular Greek construct, means ‘to know through personal experience. To have a personal relationship with God is to be saved by God. Knowing God occurs through knowing Jesus through whom salvation comes to us.

Again, we are confronted with the doctrine of God’s elective purpose - nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. No one can know Jesus Christ unless the Holy Spirit reveals Him to the person. No one can know the Father unless Jesus Christ reveals Him to the person. Spiritual understanding cannot be experienced through any means other than divine revelation, and that can only happen if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit choose to reveal themselves to the person. Great are the mysteries of God! Yes. Greater still the grace, love, and mercies of God toward all who believe.

“Father, it is only by Your grace that I or anyone can know You through Jesus Christ, and that is because He has chosen to reveal You through the work of Your Holy Spirit. While I don’t fully understand this, I will be eternally grateful to You for it. I do not know who Your elect are, so I trust Your Holy Spirit to present me with divine appointments to share Jesus with whom You will to be save. To Your praise and glory I ask, Amen.”


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