"I know you." Its what we say to someone that we have not seen in a long time but whose face is familiar. Its what we love to hear from the lips of those we respect. Yet its significance goes deeper than that.
I've spend a lot of time in the sermon on the mount over the past few months. Matthew 7:21-23 is intriguing and even a little scary to me. People come before God at the end of time and recount their deeds performed in Jesus' name. These are not charlatans but people who used his name. They did the right things at the right times . . . and got results. Not many people can say they cast out demons, performed miracles and prophesied. Yet, they fell short. Not only short, but they missed out on eternity.
When all is said and done, what counts will be hearing the creator say, "I know you". It won't be my list of accomplishments or nice resume. It won't matter at all if I know him. I can claim a relationship with God just like those who missed out. The only thing that will matter is whether the one who holds the keys to eternity looks at me and says, "I know you."
That reframes everything. I can read the sermon on the mount and still view it as a list of things to do. But remembering that the last judgment is whether God knows me or not suddenly shifts the focus from performing deeds to putting myself in a relationship. Its not about being accomplished, its only about being acknowledged -- acknowledged tomorrow by the One that I must acknowledge today.