They were telling a small group of us about a problem that had occurred with another person. We all knew the person they were talking about. We could sense their hurt and frustration. We sympathized with them. Someone in our group, who knew the person being talked about really well, spoke up,
“But I know his heart. You’re misunderstanding him.”
That simple statement changed the whole conversation. And as it turns out, there was a huge misunderstanding that was eventually worked out.
It’s one thing to know who someone is, and another thing to know a person’s heart. When someone says they know a person’s heart, it means they have an intimate understanding of how the person thinks, feels, reacts, what they value, what they like or dislike, etc., and therefore are able to predict what the person would do or say.
Who knows God’s heart?
God’s power is revealed in creation. His holiness is revealed in the law. But God’s HEART is revealed in Jesus.
No one has ever seen God. But Jesus, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:18, NLT)
The Jews knew who God was, but they only understood God as distant and unapproachable. The letter had rule. Law, regulation, and sacrifice, were the operative words. But Jesus comes and reveals the grace, love, and tenderness of the Father. Paul puts it this way,
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’ (Romans 8:15)
When we people talk about why Jesus came to earth, answers often include statements about the “sin problem,” and how Jesus fulfilled the law. This is true, however, what Paul is describing in Romans 8:15 is something so personal, so compassionate, so incredible, that it causes the recipient to cry out, “Abba Father,” or better translated, “Papa God.”
Jesus called his disciples and did incredible things with them, but he also ate with them, slept with them, walked with them, talked with them. He then told his disciples,
I’m going to prepare a place where we can be together forever…and if you seen me, you’ve seen the Father. (John 14:3, 9)
The truth is that Jesus came to earth because it’s God’s heart to be with you, eat with you, sleep with you, walk with you, talk with you. To live with you!