From Believing to Knowing

Today, I would like to talk to you about, “From Believing to Knowing,” based on the following: “Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God”’ (John 6:68-69, ESV).

As disciples of Jesus, Peter and his friends passed through two important phases: the believing phase, and the knowing phase. Those disciples who just remained at the level of belief could not walk with Jesus for long.

On our spiritual journey, believing is an important first step, but it is by no means our destination. There is a time to believe, and a time to achieve realization through personal discovery. Belief alone is not enough, because it has limitations. For one thing, it carries an element of uncertainty – not to mention the absence of personal experience.

Believing is good, but knowing is better. Believing minus understanding is recipe for confusion and manipulation.

The lion does not believe he is king; he knows he is king. Similarly, the eagle does not believe she can soar; she knows she can soar. You do not believe the woman who gave birth to you is your mom; you know she is your mom. The distinction is subtle but crucial.

Jesus was not a believer. Rather, he was a knower. In spiritual terms, a knower is a person who, through personal realization, has attained consciousness of his (her) union with God and the cosmos, and identifies with the same. Such people have transcended belief because there is no need to believe what we already know for a fact.

In his ministry, Jesus said many things about his relationship with God, but not once did he suggest that he was a believer. On the contrary, in all his statements, he made it clear that he was a knower of God and had come to testify to this experience. He minced no words when he explained this to Nicodemus: “Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony” (John 3:11, NIV).

When it came to his disciples, Jesus knew they were believers, but he looked forward to the day when they would go beyond belief and arrive at certainty through personal discovery. “On that day,” he said, “you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:20). Notice the word, “realize.” It is easy to believe and quote this Scripture (as a believer), but personally experiencing its realization (as a knower) is a completely different matter.

Jesus came to lead us from believing to knowing. For this to happen, we must exit the shallow waters of our rigid beliefs, step into the deep, and go from “We believe” to “We know.”

With love and blessings


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