There’s a surefire way to get backstage at a concert: know somebody and get a backstage pass. No pass? No backstage. Don’t know anyone? No pass. When I was in the sound business, I routinely saw people plead with the security guard, trying to get backstage. They always had a story. “We were in a band together in high school; I know he wants to see me…” But the stories never worked. The only thing that worked was a pass, given to those who knew someone. I think about those desperate pleas whenever I read these sobering words of Jesus:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'” (Matthew 7:21-23)
It’s not enough to call Jesus Lord. It’s not enough to do miraculous things in Jesus’ Name, or to preach in a bold and prophetic tone of voice. The only thing that is enough Jesus said, is to “do the will of My Father in Heaven.” Say what? Does Jesus mean only those who always do the will of God? If not, then what does He mean by, “…only he who does the will of God?” Jesus gives a strong hint when He says, “I never knew you.”
The word, know, in Scripture frequently refers to a close, intimate and personal relationship. “Knowing” Jesus is more than knowing Who He is. It is more than wearing a Jesus T-shirt, or publicly claiming to be a Christian. It has nothing to do with my doing amazing things for Jesus. Knowing Jesus means entering into a close, personal relationship with the the Son of God. Because of Who He is, such a relationship begins with reverent humility and transparency. In the words of the hymn, I come to Him “Just as I am, without one plea…” Knowing Jesus includes a willingness for Jesus to know me. Nothing about me is off limits in our relationship.
And that relationship, that knowing and being known by Jesus, is God’s will. And that – only that – is enough.