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Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:9 (NIV)

“Don’t you know me?”

The words are stunning really. It’s a phrase that hurts both the one saying it and the one to whom it’s directed. After all this time we’ve spent together, you don’t know me? After going through all these struggles, you haven’t noticed? I’ve walked by your side. I’ve eaten with you.

When you were sick I comforted you; when you were scared I held your hand; when you were confused, I gave you direction; when you were frustrated, I encouraged you. I stood up for you when you were under attack; I picked you up when you fell; I held the light when the path was dark and an umbrella when it rained.

Like Philip, each of us can get so used to the ‘idea’ of Jesus we tend to really appreciate who he is and what he does for us on a daily basis. Do you KNOW Jesus? Meditate on that question for a moment.

I know the guy at the coffee shop where I get coffee every morning. I know my neighbor across the street. I know the person in the next cubicle at work. But the way I know each of them is completely different from the way I know my wife, or she knows me. After being together all these years it still amazes us how we will be ‘lost in thought’ and blurt out the same idea. Completely random thoughts? Yes, but we know each other so well we often know exactly where our thought processes are going.

But even the intimacy and comfort of knowing my wife as well as I do is nothing compared to how Jesus knows me. Those thoughts I can’t put into words? He knows them. Those fears and doubts I don’t dare tell anyone? He understands.

And during those times when I feel too weak to go on, he turns to me and asks, “Don’t you know me?” Do you remember the storms I’ve calmed, the sick I’ve healed, the broken hearts I’ve mended? I haven’t changed. My love for you is, as it has always been. My power is available to you just as it was to the blind man, the crippled, and a bunch of fishermen being tossed wildly in the boat.

Do you know Jesus? Do you know the Jesus that is ready and willing to walk through the tempest with you? It’s much more than getting acquainted. It’s a life-long journey bathed in prayer and digging deep into his word. Knowing Jesus, really KNOWING him is the best thing for whatever trial you are going through.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I’m as guilty as Philip of not seeing you for who you really are. I depend on myself when I should depend on you. I doubt when I should trust. I am weak when I should tap into your power. Help me from this day forward to see you as you are. Amen.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (NLT)

All of us dream, at one point or another, of being well-known for some type of achievement. We play out our dreams as children. Dreams of being ‘cops or robbers’ or being star athletes or president of the United States. Dreams are the stuff life is made of. As we get older our dreams become more realistic. Sometimes they are buried in the midst of failure and the wounds we receive from others that tell us we’ll never amount to anything…and we believe them. But deep inside of us we never stop dreaming of a better tomorrow.

One day, John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness. He cousin, Jesus the Christ, came out to hear him preach. Even though they were cousins and just a few months apart we don’t really know much about their lives together as children. We do know that John had a special mission to fulfill. His ‘dream’ was to be a preacher, his mission was to make known to others the coming of Messiah.

When John saw Jesus coming he proclaimed, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” He could have called him the great healer, for many were healed by his touch. He could have called him a great teacher. Even those who don’t acknowledge him as the son of God admit that he was a tremendous teacher. His methods are still followed today! John even could have proclaimed ‘Look, it’s the creator of the world!”

But he didn’t. John’s words spoke far more loudly of whom Jesus was, “the Lamb of God.” The very term brought a visual that only the Jews of that time could fully understand. When a lamb was born it was checked for flaws. If it was a perfect lamb it was kept until the day of sacrifice. It’s only real purpose in life was to die on the altar for the sins of God’s people.

Jesus was the Lamb of God. He wasn’t born to heal us. He wasn’t born to free us from emotional, physical or political oppression. He wasn’t born to make a great name for himself. He was born to die. His sole purpose for coming was to die for my sin. Life on this earth will be filled with calamity and pain and hardship. There will be days, even years filled with tears more than laughter. But in the midst of all we go through our one constant that we can rely on is that God loved us enough to send Jesus to die so we could live. That was the plan.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, once again I come to you in praise and worship for your desire to come to earth just to die for me. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with life that I forget the huge price you paid for me. I ask that today, you would help me to be in constant remembrance that your sole purpose for coming was to die for me. Let that be my encouragement as I face today’s challenges. In your name I pray, Amen.

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