I never knew you
Prophesying, casting out demons and working miracles are signs of a true Christian. Jesus said these signs will follow those who believe (Mark 16:17-18). Yet in Mathew 7:22-23, we confront an angry, unruly Jesus who declares to the many believers who performed these signs in His name “I never knew you; depart from me evil doers”. They were denied entry into his kingdom despite the signs that followed their ministry.
Two questions arise here; first, why did Jesus say that He did not know these men when the truth is that God is all knowing? Second, why did Jesus not permit them into His kingdom even though their ministry was accompanied by these signs?
Did not Jesus know anything about these men? Off-course he did. In fact Jesus knew everything about them and that is precisely why He declares “I never knew you". To enter heaven we should be known by Jesus. Here the word ‘knowing’ does not mean just an awareness or knowledge rather a higher level of relationship. It points to a mutual abandonment or a becoming gift of self to the other. Where do we see examples of such a relationship? We see this primarily in the relationship shared by Father and Jesus in the blessed Trinity. If you examine the following statements of Jesus the depth of their relationship comes to light. “I and the father are one, no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son” and “I am in the Father and the Father is in me”. Jesus also says elsewhere “if you know me, you know my father”. We see such a relationship in the life of Mary. Granting God total permission, she says “behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word”. Then we see such a relationship in the loving, sharing commitment between man and women in marriage. The couple promise to donate themself as a gift to each other unconditionally come what may. We also see such a relationship exists in our bodies between the head and rest of the body - they are in perfect harmony.
So Jesus’ ‘I never knew you’ statement points to the imperfection of their love. And Why did Jesus not let these men into his kingdom? Because nothing unholy enters heaven.
Then what about prophesying, performing miracles, and casting out demons?. Fact is they are simply signs of a believer, and not the essence of a believer. The essence of a believer is perfect love and love is perfected in a one heart, one mind, one body union with Christ.
How does one unite himself to Jesus? By abandoning oneself to the love and mercy of Jesus and allowing the word of God to perfect us little by little bathing in the abounting grace poured out in the Sacraments of the Church. Jesus said “If you love me, keep my commands”. (John 14:15) “You are my friends if you do what I command” (15:14). If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.. (John 15:5)
Jesus said “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Father wills that we perfect our love, in union with Christ and be ultimately united to Him in the beatific vision for eternity.