By Johnnie C. Godwin
Contributing columnist, B&R
Recently, a young fellow in our church got my introduction after I got his name, and he said, “I know you, Johnnie. I know all about you.” Gently, I recalled an event in our church that had happened long ago and asked him if he knew about that. He walked back his statement about knowing all about me and confessed he didn’t know about the event. He also realized he didn’t know a lot of other things about me.
Getting to know people. We can’t know all and everything about people, however long we’ve known them. For example, my wife and I have been married over 65 years; and she still says often — from all my many stories — “I don’t remember you ever telling me that before.” And if you were to ask her about her childhood, she would tend to reply, “I really don’t remember much about my childhood; but I know all about Johnnie’s quite well.”
I recently talked with a young man about one of our fine church staff members. The young man soon said, “Oh, I know all about him! I remember when …” And I replied by peppering the young man with questions about the person he claimed to know all about. He quickly realized that he knew only a slice or two of life about the other person.
No one but God really knows all about us. One of the key problems in marriages that wear thin or dissolve deals with how mates view each other. After a few years —- or many years — of marriage, one or the other of the mates may say, “I know my mate well; I can read my mate like a book.”
That tends to be less than a true statement. Many mates stop on the same bad or irritable page when they tell of knowing all about their mate. And they fail to turn that one page and read further, as they would do in reading a superb novel to find out about its progression or climax, or the ending.
Even regarding friendships, people sometimes say — over time — “Our friendship began as bronze. It grew into silver. And now it is gold!” People change, and we need to allow for that and recognize it. Furthermore, we need to realize that God created us in His image and eternally cares about us and works to remold us into the image of God in Christ (see Romans 8:28-30).
What it’s all about? To this day, I get irritated when I hear someone say in a sermon or conversation of a religious nature, “It’s not about you. It’s not about me. It’s all about God.” Well, ultimately, I would agree that the eternal God in Christ is what everything and everyone is about. But what is God about? Well, Genesis 1-2 show us that God was about creating everything from nothing and calling it good. He created man and woman in His own image. Then He climaxed the creation by calling all of it “very good.” So God was about man also — and all the rest of creation.
What was Jesus about? Of course, man chose to sin and in that marred the image of God within Him. But God wasn’t through with man. Rather, John 3:16 tells us that God loved the world in this way: namely, that He gave His only Son that we might trust in Him and have eternal life.
Jesus is eternal God the Son within the Trinity. And the eternal Jesus took humanity upon Himself when He became a babe and became God/man. He was about obeying God the Father completely. After Jesus grew into manhood and went about His Father’s business, Luke 19:10 says, “The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” So what was Jesus about? Jesus was also about us! He came to live a sinless life and die for us to have eternal life. But He was first, foremost, and eternally about obeying the Father.
And in preaching repentance and the kingdom of God, Jesus chose 12 disciples to learn what Jesus had to teach and to follow Jesus. So what were the disciples to be about? They were to be about what Jesus taught them. They were to love God first and foremost in every way; and they were to love others as they loved themselves (Matthew 22:37-40).
What are we to be about? We are to receive Christ as Lord and Savior (Roman 10:9-10). We are to be saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). And we are to be about following Jesus daily and doing His will throughout our life. B&R — Copyright 2021 by Johnnie C. Godwin