In cartoons, when someone has a new idea or receives revelation, it is sometimes depicted by a thought bubble containing a light bulb which is switched on. When we read the Bible, it can be a bit like this. A passage that we have read many times before can impact us in a new way and we receive the truth of it as if for the first time. To use modern slang, it’s as if we “get it”!
I believe that God is longing for us to have more of these experiences. He wants to reveal more of Himself to us and for us to know Him more deeply and intimately. Twice in Isaiah Chapter 40, He says, “Do you not know …?” and He then goes on to describe different aspects of who He is. It is not intellectual knowledge that He wants us to have, but a deep inner knowing.
In today’s verse Paul is praying that our experience of the love of God will move from being head knowledge to knowing it in a deeply personal way. This is what he means when he prays that we might “know this love”. The Greek word used here is ginosko, which means to know absolutely, or to understand completely. It is also used to imply the complete unity that comes from sexual intimacy between husband and wife.
Head knowledge about the love of God is not enough. There is an old chorus that says: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Of course, it is good to have been told the truths contained in the Bible, but that is not enough – these truths need to go from our heads deep into our hearts, so that we own them personally for ourselves. I think that is what Paul means when he prays for us to “know this love that surpasses knowledge.”
It is the Holy Spirit who brings revelation to us. In Ephesians 1:17, Paul prays: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” Again, the word in Greek used for “knowledge” means complete comprehension after the first knowledge.
This would be an excellent prayer to pray for ourselves, as well as for those in our families, our churches and our fellowships. I believe that God is longing to reveal more of Himself to us, so that we might know Him better and know the amazing love that He has for each one of us.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that You would pour into me Your Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that I may know You better. I pray that the knowledge I have of You in my head would go deep into my heart, and that I would truly know and experience the love that You have for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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