The Overwhelming Preciousness of Knowing Jesus:
“Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One)…(For my determined purpose is) that I may know Him (that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly)…” (Philippians 3:8,10, The Amplified Bible).
This is my heart’s cry! More than anything else in this life, I want to know Jesus better. And this was the cry of the Apostle Paul, and perhaps that is why this particular passage of Scripture is one of my favourites. Paul says here that there is no treasure or reward or experience in life that compares with knowing Jesus. He says that even the greatest pleasures and success in life are rubbish, refuse, dregs—garbage—compared with knowing Jesus. Consider the words he uses to describe knowing Jesus…
the priceless privilege… the overwhelming preciousness…
the surpassing worth… the supreme advantage…
Is that how you would describe knowing Jesus? To know Him is to love Him. The more you know Him, and the more you know about His awesomeness, the more you will desire to know Him more. He is precious to those who believe. What does it mean to know Him? Obviously the Bible is speaking about more than just learns the facts about Him. Listen to the words Paul uses here: “For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him…” What is your determined purpose? Is it to become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Jesus? There is no joy that compares with the overwhelming preciousness of knowing Jesus. But what does it mean to know Him?
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Philippians 3:10, NKJV). First of all, it means to know Him in the power of His resurrection. In Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus, he prayed, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Eph. 1:18-19). To know God is to know Him in the exceeding greatness of His power and majesty and awesome glory!
Secondly, it means to know Him in the fellowship of His suffering. In another place, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12). If we’re going to know Jesus and become like Him, we’re going to suffer persecution. I know this isn’t a popular truth, but Jesus said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19). Like it or not, this is a part of the package deal that comes along with knowing Jesus! But the final way Paul says we know Him is by being conformed to His death. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). To know Him is to become like Him, and to become like Him, we must be willing to take up our cross, and die daily to our sinful nature and desires, and follow Him.
To know Him is to have possession of the most priceless privilege, the most overwhelming preciousness, the most surpassing worth, and the most supreme advantage of all. Is this YOUR determined purpose?
Pastor Chris Jordan