Significantly, the word “know” in the Hebrew language refers to an intimate oneness. “And Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived.” Genesis 4:1.
As I have grappled with the meaning of the Christian life, I’ve discovered that the greatest need that you and I will ever have is to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Why didn’t I say God the Father? Because the only way you or I can know the Father is by knowing the Lord Jesus. We cannot know the Father outside of Christ.
I’ve always been arrested by Paul’s words in Philippians 3:10. “Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Marinate on that phrase a bit, would you? “The surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
What drove Paul? A deeper knowledge of His Lord. “That I may know Him,” were his words. Paul penned this sentence some twenty-seven years after he met the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. I find that incredible.
Here is a man who had a face-to-face encounter with the living Christ at his conversion . . . a man who was given an earth-shattering, jaw-dropping, mountain-moving seeing of the heavenly vision and the deepest mysteries of God. Acts 26:13-19.
Here is a man who went away into an Arabian desert for three years and was given his gospel straight from Jesus Christ by spiritual revelation. He didn’t get it from the twelve apostles. He got it directly from the Lord. En Galatians 1:11-12.
When he was visiting his hometown of Tarsus in Silicia, Paul had a supernatural encounter wherein he peered into heavenly realms. He saw and heard things that he could not utter. He saw the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6; 12:1-4.
Then, some twenty years later, Paul would pen his matchless letter called Ephesians wherein he sought to put into human language what he saw in unseen realms. In Chapter 1 of Ephesians, Paul virtually exhausts human language in an attempt to describe what he saw of the Lord Jesus Christ outside the constraints of created time.
And yet, with all of this experience behind him, he writes these unexpected words: “That I may know Him.”