I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father
We are known. Think about that.
Someone knows you completely, intimately – and loves you. They see the holes, and continue to love you. They see the spots, the cracks, the wrinkles, the scars, and he continues to hold you. He knows you and he is good. He knows you and he is yours.
There is no corner of the pasture you have wandered into where his eye did not see you. There was no time when he refused to be your shepherd. And how can you be assured that you are known? By accepting his invitation to know him back. “I know my sheep…my sheep know me.”
It is not a conditional statement – if you get to know me then I will get to know you. Neither is it an imperative – you must know me before I will ever bother to know you. Instead, it is desperately vulnerable – I’ve taken the time to know you, I shaped you. You may think the scars run deep, but my fingerprints lie even underneath the deepest pain. Before anything, we were his. And in only the way a lover can speak from the heart he invites us to know him back. He whispers, you were made for me.
How intimately are we to know and be known – even as the Father and Jesus are one. There is no lack between them, no disappointment, no broken promises. It makes us uncomfortable to see how they love one another. Remember, one sent the other to die – and he went, willingly. That is a strange love. That is a deep knowing overflowing into inexplicable trust.
And oh, how precious is his Father’s approval.
“Love always grows, not just deeper, but wider.” –McManus
His love never had the option to be contained. It had to expand. It had to be shared. It even had to rescue.
Like solved-puzzles we are laid bare before our Lord. But even with the mystery gone, he continues to be enamored with his beloved.