I have a friend who once declared proudly on his wedding day that he knew everything there was to know about his wife. Boy was he in for a delightful surprise, right? Because, while he knew his wife, and while he knew a lot about her, there was no way he knew everything. There was more to see than what he was seeing.

In John 1:31 and 33 John the Baptist makes a rather amazing statement. He says that he “did not recognize” Jesus. But how could this be? His mother, Elizabeth, and Jesus’ mother, Mary, are relatives (Luke 1:36). This means John probably saw Jesus from time to time at family gatherings, maybe in Jerusalem at the Passover, and perhaps at other times when Feast Days were celebrated. I feel comfortable saying that John knew who Jesus was.

Which means there is something else going on here. John knew Jesus on one level, but he did not know Jesus on quite another. Even as they grew up together, John did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. He did not recognize Jesus as the Son of Man, as divinity in a body, as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” At least not until it was revealed to him by God Himself.

Some reading this devotional today know Jesus through the Scriptures. They know Him to be a great teacher. A man who did miracles. And they may even think He rose from the dead. But they don’t recognize Him as their God or as their Savior. Perhaps today will be the day they do?

Others reading this devotional today do know Jesus personally. They have established a relationship with Him through faith. But they may erroneously believe that what they know is all there is to know. John’s experience tells us that just isn’t true. There is way more to Jesus than they, or you, or I have known through experience. There has to be. He is an infinite Being!

I guess the call from God today to all of us is this – don’t stop pursuing a deep and personal relationship with Jesus. There is more to know. More to experience. More to enjoy. More to find delight in. Don’t be satisfied with where you are today. Ask God to give you the gift and ability to “recognize” Jesus for who He really is.

Scott Smith
Care Pastor

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