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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But whoever loves God is known by God.”— 1 Corinthians 8:3 (NIV)
I love great high school parody movies. One of my absolute favorites is 1999’s She’s All That, a movie about how Laney, a plucky outcast, and Zack, the popular guy, end up falling for each other. One of the funnier moments in the movie is when Zack greets Laney’s little brother. Shocked, he says, “He knows my name!”
There’s something truly special, comforting, and exciting about feeling known. I’m not talking about simply knowing someone’s name or knowing about a person, I’m talking about really, deeply knowing someone. I once heard a spoken word performance that stated, “To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.”
In our verse today, the apostle Paul tells us that if we love God, we are known by Him. The Greek word here is egnōstai, which means to “know through personal experience; to know absolutely; to know with certainty; to know and understand.”
It’s the same word used in Luke 1:34 (KJV, emphasis added), when Mary, a virgin, says, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” As strange as that may seem to equate what Paul is saying to what Mary was referencing, the implication of the word in both cases is a deep intimacy. It’s a depth of intimacy that a husband and wife share, the kind of genuine and all-encompassing love that you see between a parent and their child.
I find today’s verse even more striking when I consider 1 John 4:19 (NKJV), which tells us that, “We love Him because He first loved us.” And we know God because we were first known by Him and called out of darkness into His light (1 Peter 2:9).
In John 10:14 (NIV), Jesus shared a similar sentiment to what Paul wrote when He said, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” This is such a powerful and profound portrait of our relationship with God. Charles Ellicott described it this way, “The thought of the Good Shepherd . . . expresses the closest communion between the shepherd and the sheep. It is not simply that the sheep know the Shepherd’s voice, but they partake of His nature, and the solemn form in which He expresses this union is in likening it to that between His Father and Himself.” So, we are known by Jesus just like He is known by the Father! Isn’t that amazing and beautiful?
So the next time you feel like no one gets you, really knows you, or even knows your name, remember that you are known intimately and loved deeply by the Creator and Savior!
DIG: What does it mean to you to be known?
DISCOVER: Do you feel known by anyone? Do you know anyone deeply? What sets that relationship apart from others?
DISPLAY: Thank the Lord today for knowing you and loving you as He does, and show your appreciation to the people in your life who genuinely know and love you.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.