21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
and then someone left a comment asking me to explain what this means to me. Her opinion was that it was a warning not to go "through" Jesus as most Christians believe and teach. When I reread my post yesterday what she said didn't stick out to me as I stressed relationship (knowing Christ) being important, however, I did ponder "but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." I thought of editing the post to make mention of it, but left it alone in the end. I wanted first to see what others had to say.
As to what this means to me...
First, I need to know what the will of God is in order to do it! Any ideas on what that is?
Second, concerning what my friend wrote, I see it this way. Remember the Gatecrashers who somehow made it through White House security and posed for pictures at the Obamas' first state dinner last year? Although their names were not on the list, they somehow got through security all the way to the President of the United States!
Obama didn't have the knowledge to realize they were not supposed to be at the dinner, but later the news came out and the press had its heyday and a security staffer resigned for this lapse.
Not that the two scenarios are totally relevant, but we can say it is helpful to know somebody, right? Or to be known? Have your name on the list, so to speak. In countries where wasta is important, even in the West where having connections helps oftentimes in landing a job: knowing someone has its perks!
Is Jesus saying that knowing him has its privileges when it comes to entering the kingdom of heaven? Perhaps those who had been prophesying, doing miracles and casting out demons in his name were just doing things instead of knowing Jesus. Can we be so busy doing things for God that we don't take time to know Him? Could it be that this matters a lot to a God who values relationships? We must admit that loving God and loving others involves relationships!
Jesus claims to be the Way to the Father (John 14:6) and the Door (John 10:9). So, yes, we believe we go to the Father through Jesus. I wouldn't likely be invited into the White House just because of my bright eyes and friendly smile. But if I were good friends with Michelle Obama, I would have a better chance of visiting with the family in their personal living area. Relationships matter!
Most of us would see someone casting out demons and doing miracles and assume he was a man of God. I know I would! However, Jesus stresses here that merely doing things in his name doesn't matter. Perhaps you are familiar with those who are bold enough to speak in the name of another or do things in someone else's name without personally knowing the individual for whom they speak.
The Bible says the devil appears as an angel of light and in this passage Jesus warns of those who are like wolves in sheep's clothing.
I think the horns and pitchfork would tip us off that he's up to no good!
Apparently there are some who will appear righteous and lovely outwardly, but God knows they are deceitful wolves. Is this why we are commanded not to judge? Some who have honorable intentions we may judge harshly whereas those we deem as good and holy perhaps are devils in disguise. Food for thought anyway.