Matthew 7:21-23

Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one 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 in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

A very tough Jesus doesn’t mince words as he warns us that on Judgement Day, many who have called him Lord will not enter heaven, nor will many who claim to have served him here on earth. “I will tell them plainly,” he says, “I never knew you.”

Notice Jesus is not saying, “*You* never knew *me*.” He is saying, “*I* never knew *you*.” What does he mean? He means that salvation is more than declaring that he is Lord or doing things in his name; it is about a relationship with him based on obedience. Christ is the head of the body, the church (Colossians 1:18). The church is not a building or represented by those who shepherd us: it is every single one of us who is part of the body of Christ.

If we are part of the body, then should we not be united? My hands are united with my body. So are my legs and every other organ. Now, if a hand is amputated, it is no longer part of my body. I can’t say it is part of my body because it isn’t. Apply the same reasoning to the body of Christ. You will find Scriptural validation in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31. So, if we are not united in one body that is Christ’s, then are we part of him? This is one reason he will say to some of us: “I never knew you!”

Secondly, if we are part of one body, then should we not care for each other? In his parable of the Sheep and the Goats (see Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus tells us that many of us won’t make it into heaven because we did not feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend to the sick, and generally look after our brothers and sisters in need. He is not saying we are saved by works; rather, we have not understood what it means to be part of his body. “Truly I tell you,” he says, “whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me” (Matthew 25:45). This is another reason he will say to some of us: “I never knew you.”

There is much more, but let this do for now. In the light of what we just learned, let us ask Jesus the question today: Lord, do you know me? The answer will change us forever.

May the Spirit be with you.

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