They Don’t Know Us

1 John 3:1b “The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

How can John say that the world doesn’t know us? We all know some unbelievers, and those unbelievers know who we are. Some we count as our friends. At times it may seem like the unbelieving world knows us too well, and they don’t like what they see. They study us to ridicule us. They form organizations to compete for the minds and hearts and souls of others. By the way they act, it appears they even find us scary.

That’s because they don’t really know us. They may know who we are. They know what we say. But they don’t understand. They don’t know why we do what we do. They can’t figure out why we believe what we believe. It makes no sense to them that we can view a sexually pure life as a most precious freedom from sin–something which they can only see as useless sacrifice and self-denial. They can’t see why we would willingly devote thousands of our hard earned dollars, and hours, days, even weeks of our precious time each year to a cause which seems to offer so little in return in worldly terms. It mystifies them that we don’t abort unplanned babies, or bail out of unhappy marriages. They don’t understand why we choose the truth over compromise, suffering over worldly acceptance.

Why? We are children of God, and “The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” Should it surprise us that the world so easily values what pleases self more than what is good and right? Should it surprise us that they place instant gratification at the top of their list of priorities rather than things spiritual, eternal, and heavenly? If you didn’t know or believe in the indescribable and undying love of your Savior, would you?

This is why God’s children will always be battling in this world. This is why persecution, to some degree, will always be part of life for those who know Jesus’ love and have become his very own. This is why the mere preaching of moral values and Biblical principles will never change our world. They do not know God. They do not know his love. They have not become his children. They do not understand.

Only the Good News of Christ crucified, Jesus dying for sin and Jesus rising to life, has the power to turn them from enemies to allies. Only this lavish love of God can woo them into the family of faith. In the meantime, we are the children of God, and the world doesn’t really know us.  

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