According to Hebrews 8:11, under the new covenant there will be no need to teach one another to know God because everyone will know Him. The New Covenant of course is mediated through Jesus Christ. The saying “no Jesus, no God. Know Jesus, know God” is about God’s revelation of Himself to everyone through the Son. As God, Jesus has it all. Matthew 11:27 says, “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Jesus also told Phillip who asked Him to show them the Father, “if you’ve seen me, you have seen the Father.” The Son, Jesus, wants to reveal the Father to us all. Seeing God revealed to us through His Son, brings great peace. Know Jesus, Know God. No Jesus, no peace. Know Jesus, know peace! That’s why He follows up in Matthew with verse 28, “Come to me all you who are weary and carry heavy (religious) burdens and I will give you rest for your souls.”

Then in Hebrews 8:12, the author explains the source of that peace and rest. He writes, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” The author wants everyone to understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises of God. The whole of Scripture looks forward to the Christ who will redeem the world. That’s why he continually quotes from the Old Testament and applies it to the work of Jesus. This verse is exactly that! It’s a direct quote from Jeremiah’s recitation of the promises of the New Covenant of which Jesus is the High Priest and mediator. Jeremiah 31:34 says, “And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Pfeiffer says, “Under the Old Covenant a remembrance of sin was perpetuated year after year. There were daily offerings, sacrifices for the new moons and sabbaths, and a solemn Day of Atonement when sin was again remembered and ceremonially removed. This, according to Hebrews, is now forever past. Sins are forgotten by the God of all grace. There is no fear of condemnation to the child of God.”[1] Jeremiah, part of the Old Testament, affirms the reality and emphasizes the fact that there is something different coming. Hagner explains, “A new situation is in view within the Scriptures of the old covenant itself, a situation that envisages a new kind of living, a new spiritual possibility, and a new experience of a definitive forgiveness of sins. The law is internalized, and a new intimacy of relationship between God and his people becomes possible. Knowledge of the Lord becomes the possession of all, and the cleansing of sin becomes a reality at the deepest level. It is this that Jeremiah looked for, and it is this that has come to the readers in Christ.” [2]

[1] Charles F. Pfeiffer, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1962), 70.

[2] Donald A. Hagner, Hebrews, Understanding the Bible Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011), 123–124.