There’s a profound change of perspective in Matthew 7:21-23.
Jesus begins His statement, as part of the Sermon on the Mount, by saying, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (verse 21). In other words, some people who profess to know Jesus actually don’t.
These “professors” will give what they consider to be “evidence” of their knowledge of and love for Christ. They’ll say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and many mighty works in your name?” (verse 22).
But what does Jesus say to them? “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (verse 23 – emphasis added).
The passage begins with, “Lord, we know you.” But it ends with, “I never knew you.”
The change of perspective is profound! The point is not “do I know Jesus?” The far more important point is “does Jesus know me?” He’s not talking about bare knowledge, but rather a deep and intimate knowledge and relationship with someone. Does He know me in that way?
Maybe we’re looking at this from the wrong direction.