|Dr. Couch, what is going on in Matthew 7:21-23? What does Christ mean by "I never knew you"? Does this mean He truly did not know anything about them?|
ANSWER: The passage has to do with hypocritical Jews who wanted to identify with the Messiah. They said "Lord, Lord," and yet they were not following the God of heaven nor doing His will (v. 21). These Jews even said they had prophesied in His name and had also cast out demons for Him (v. 22). Then Christ said, "I never knew you" (v. 23).
The Greek word "knew" is "ginosko" (Aorist Tense). The word has the thought of knowing by experiencing, learning by relationship. The idea is not simply about acquiring knowledge or having a knowledge base. Christ actually knew all things. As God, nothing was kept from Him. We may say about a friend or acquaintance, "I really know him!" meaning we have a relational knowledge.
This is what Christ is saying. The Lord did not know them in a close, spiritual, fellowship way! I hope this helps.
Thanks for asking.
Dr. Mal Couch