Have you noticed that there are benefits to knowing certain people, or rather, being known by certain people? “Who you know” can open doors for jobs, secure great deals on stuff, and provide access to limited venues. We all like to know someone who can “get us in” to wherever we want to go.
But these benefits are short-lived, especially if we take advantage of who we know too often. Someone doing us a favor one day becomes someone who begrudges the request a few times down the road and may eventually even decline to help, because he or she will begin to wonder if the relationship is about the person or about the benefits.
But with Jesus, our relationship with the Person is inextricably tied to the benefits we receive. Because we know Jesus, we have a God-given mission to make disciples of all nations. Because we know Jesus, we have been saved from sin and given eternal life—free of charge, entirely paid for by this “Someone.” And because we know Jesus, we have free access to the most limited of venues—the holy presence of God Himself (Hebrews 4:14-16).
Apart from knowing Jesus, no one can stand in God’s presence. Only “the one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not set his mind on what is false, and who has not sworn deceitfully” can stand in the Lord’s holy place (Psalm 24:3-4). That’s not me, and I’m certain that’s not you either. But holding on to our confession of Jesus Christ as Lord, this Great High Priest sympathizes with our weaknesses and takes away our sin. And then, He “gets us in.”
“Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time” (Hebrews 4:16).
Because we know Jesus, we can enter into the presence of His Father, and ours. But it is not as if we are sneaking into a concert by the scheming of a friend. No, we are approaching boldly the throne of God with nothing to fear because to know Jesus is to know God (“the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature,” Hebrews 1:3). This isn’t a security guard waving us through a fence; this is the band driving us in on the tour bus and walking us up on stage before the entire crowd! Let us approach with boldness!
And in this holy presence, we continue to find mercy and forgiveness for our sins, plus we find the grace of God’s strength in the Holy Spirit to help us fight against sin. We approach with boldness, but we also do so with humility, for this merciful and gracious God has given us all things in Christ, and we haven’t deserved one bit. What a wonderful God we serve!