Here’s one way we can be sure that we do know Jesus: we long to know him more. Our hearts say with the apostle Paul—who, after enjoying, worshipping and faithfully serving Jesus for around three decades, near the end of his life declared this—“My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings” (Phil. 3:10 CSB). For to know him and be known by him is the ultimate relational reality, which we will spend all of eternity marveling over and delighting in.
In this passage we are often (and rightly) drawn to Jesus’s statement of exclusivity in John 14:6. He is not a way among many but the way. He is not a truth but the embodiment of the truth. There is only one way to the Father, and that is through Jesus alone.
And Jesus looks at him and responds with a gentle yet chiding question. I can imagine him shaking his head, smiling but with a hint of sadness embedded into the smile. The kind that creeps into the corners of the eyes. Like the face of a patient friend who keeps showing up for you after you made a mess of things again. Like that of a parent whose stressed-out teenager just shouted, “You don’t know what I’m going through!” because they have a big assignment due the next day. Like that of the Savior who knows that tomorrow he will do the blood-spilling work of his saving.
“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?” (v. 9)
You see, this is why Jesus came: so that we may know him. Do you know him?