Many people talk about “knowing God”, but what’s the point?
“I have made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” -John 17:26
The Church is filled with broken people trying to figure things out, trying to know God. This is a wonderful thing, but we must realize that there is a purpose in knowing God that is bigger than ourselves. Jesus does not make the Father known to the disciples simply so that they will have some personal realization, but that they may be transformed in the way that they act towards each other (and also the world, but that’s a different passage).
Jesus speaks of the love “with which You [the Father] have loved me”. Think of how this love was shown at His baptism in Luke 3:21-22. Before Jesus ever preached a message or performed a miracle, God the Father declared over Him, “You are my beloved Son, with You I am well pleased.” (v.22)
The love the Father gives is based not on performance, but position. It is a love that is offered freely, not based on the merit of the receiver’s actions or accomplishments, but on their acceptance in Christ. To love others like this is to give love regardless of whether or not we feel they deserve it.
This is both the key and purpose of knowing God.
Jesus’ prayer is that the more we know God,the more we would love each other as He loves us, and the more we love like Him, the more we will know Him, too.