Genesis: Jesus He Knows Me
When this song was released back in 1992, I vaguely remember that I thought this song was pro-Christianity. What a naive little Catholic school boy I was. Jesus He Knows Me is full of biting criticism of the state of Western Christianity in the late 20th century. Unfortunately, a bit over 20 years later and it still cuts a little too close to home.
In the film clip, Phil Collins, Tony Banks, and Mike Rutherford take on the role of televangelists, men who flooded the airways in the 20th century with a polished routine of charismatic “Bible” teaching all-too-perfect looking families. They would use the name of Jesus to compel their viewers to send them ridiculous amounts of money to do “the Lord’s work”, making outrageous claims. I’ll get you everything you wanted. I’ll get you everything you need. You don’t need to believe in hereafter. Just believe in me.
However, their actions didn’t match their words. When the cameras were turned off, these TV preachers were engaged in all kinds of greed and ungodliness. It’s this hypocrisy that Genesis were attacking. Instead of leading people to salvation, they were leading them to poverty and empty worship. Just do as I say, don’t do as I do.
Genesis were right to call these people out. They were outright false teachers. But what concerns me most is that 20 years later we’re still seeing this false teaching in play. Sure, gone are the pastel suits. But we still have the prosperity gospel. People who claim to be God’s people claiming that if you give generously to the church, then Jesus/Santa will give them even more material wealth. So called pastors making passionate pleas to their congregations to give more money because pastor needs a jet. Not just any old second hand plane, but the best jet money can buy.
These preachers claim that Jesus knows them. But when Jesus returns, he will say to them “I do not know you.” (Matthew 25:12)