“. . . That I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection. . .”
In my attempt to understand what Paul meant when he said he wanted to “know” Christ, here are some assumptions which I recognize and openly acknowledge: First, I believe Christ wishes to be known and makes that possible. Second, in order to “know” him, faith is an absolute essential. In order to know anyone or anything, it seems that you have to accept their existence.
Third, it seems reasonable to assume that in order to “know” anyone you must desire to do that. If you don’t, you won’t. You can’t. And fourth, knowing any subject means you must devote time to the project. As he examined his own priorities, Paul put “knowing Christ” as his top priority. Included in that was reference to the crucifixion and resurrection.
I’m not doing a “background check” on Christ, but I’ve really focused my attention on that subject.
My considering this question for quite some time now has led me to ask myself several questions. Asking questions has long been considered a valid way to teach and learn. Almost as old as time, hasn’t that been called “The Socratic Method?” I’ve been asking myself questions, honestly seeking answers, and now sharing my questions with you. I hope you’ll print them out and share your own thoughts in answer to the questions. Perhaps you’ll also raise some of your own.
If I really want to know someone at the deepest levels, here are some things I’d like to know:
What is this person really like? How does he treat people who cannot possibly benefit him? How does he treat ladies? Children? The poor? The weak? The ignorant? What has he accomplished? What has he said? What do his words mean? What has he done? What are the results or importance of those acts?
What does he gain from his relationship with others?
How does he react under pressure? Who are his close friends? How has he influenced them? What have they done? What has been their impact upon society?
This has become a very important task for me. I have decided Paul is right on the mark. In considering the person and work of Christ, His suffering, death and resurrection and trying to fathom the meaning and importance of those, Paul has upon issues each of us would be wise to consider.
One other thing I have a bit of difficulty verbalizing is the fact that my choosing to focus or concentrate on knowing Christ excludes other pursuits. We’ll need to think about that a bit.
Paul also said: This one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind and pressing toward those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus My Lord…” If you really want to know Christ intimately, that will mean you have to choose Him above all others. He has no intention of being a co-Monarch
“. . . That I may know Him, the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His suffering. . . ”
God’s son and servant, your friend and fellow student, ~donkimrey