Read the scripture here: Galatians 4:8 – 4:20
Being known is something we innately long for. It’s one of the things that has made marriage so amazing for me. I know my wife knows me. She gets me. She sees the bad and good about me that most people don’t. And, yet, she still respects and cherishes me. I remember the moment I first realized this about her. It has pushed me to love and serve her more than I thought I could.
That is what this passage is about. Being known. First by God, and then by others.
Paul asks (again) how they can start to turn away from the Gospel message we have been reading about the past few weeks. It baffles him because the Galatians have come to know God and be known by Him. If you have experienced God knowing you, you can understand the gravity of the statement. It’s even better than what I explained about my marriage. God knows the craziness you never even told anyone in your life about yet, but still loves you deeply. The Bible puts it this way: while we were still sinners, He died for us. I LOVE that verse. It’s the perfect representation of the good news of Christ. In my mess, before it was cleaned up, Jesus made a way for me.
If you never have experienced that feeling of being known by God, then I invite you to start hanging out with us. Over time, I have no doubt you will experience the depth of what being known and loved means.
Knowing people isn’t just a God thing. When Paul confronts the Galatian church in this letter he says, “become as I am, for I also have become as you are.”
When he calls the community of believers to repentance for what they have been believing and teaching, he does it from love and not judgement. Today the church is seen as judgemental for a simple reason: people are told what to be like before being loved where they are. Paul could speak into their lives because he first took the time to know them deeply.
Paul is a bit dramatic to make points sometimes, but he says that they loved him so much they would have ripped out an eye for him if he asked. That’s pretty intense. But the point is simple, the people knew Paul loved and knew them. And because of that trust, Paul can confidently call them to be like him, because he had already become one of them.
He was not speaking from a place of arrogance or lofty judgement, but a place of love and friendship. I cannot pray enough that God would form our community to be like this!
Have you ever felt someone really knew you? What was that like?
Have you experienced the understanding that God fully knows and loves you?
Who do you know?
Father, make us like Paul.
Help us to make our neighbors feel known.
I pray our community of believers would learn to listen to, enjoy, and serve our neighbors.
We repent of all the time we have taken to judge but not know.
Forgive us Lord, so we may learn to ‘become like’ before we ask to ‘become us.’