It is a popular question in the evangelical church: Do you know Jesus? I guess I know Jesus in a very limited sense. I know a bit about what he taught, a counter intuitive message that tends to boggle my mind when I try to internalize it or come to grips with the many astounding implications. Whenever I experience questioning of this sort, I grow apprehensive and even defensive. The obvious implication is that my relationship with Jesus and by extension with the Father is my responsibility to work out. I must come to know Jesus, whatever that may mean to the questioner, by doing something and doing it correctly. There can be no security in this kind of “knowing”, because there are just too many thorny questions raised by this approach to relationship with God.
In reality, I believe that I am known by Jesus and by extension by God. God knows who I am just like He knows the number of hairs on my head. He knows me better than I could ever know myself, including all the frailties which preclude my ever feeling safe in a salvation initiated by personal effort, faith, commitment, or piety. My relationship with God and my acceptability before Him can only be secured by a salvation which is all of Him and none of me. As I friend as said, All I can contribute to my salvation is the sin that makes it necessary. That word “all” must be all inclusive; I can add nothing to my being acceptable, including my faith, prayer, confession, baptism, repentance, church membership, worship, absolutely nothing.