Wednesday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

John 7:10-24

Want to Know the Truth: Act on Jesus’ Words!

We are now in that part of Jesus’ time with us that A. T. Robertson calls, “The Later Judean Ministry.”  The passages for the next several devotions will come from John and Luke.  It is obvious that the tension is heightened.  The Jewish leadership is looking for an opportunity to accuse, condemn, and kill Jesus.  But, as John says so many times, “His time had not yet come.”

Here Jesus repeats what he has said so many times in this gospel, which is that he was sent by the Father.  His teaching is not his own, but His who sent him.  Now there is one verse I want to highlight here.  Jesus said, “If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.”  I believe that this is a very key passage.  We often put the emphasis on teaching and knowing right doctrine; after all, one must know what to do before doing it.  If someone believes something that is false, then that one will act on that false idea or doctrine and will invariably sin.  This is certainly correct.  But here Jesus reverses the order.  He says that if you truly want to do God’s will, then act on his words.  There is no need to take a course on Christian doctrine or ethics; simply obey his words and you will know the truth.  The proof will be in the pudding, so to speak.

If we will be Christians, we will never escape what is at the heart of our faith, which is obedience.  Granted, we are saved by grace through faith, but we are saved that we may be “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).  It seems that Jesus is saying, “Test me by following my words and you will know the truth.  And if you don’t, then you obviously do not want to know God’s will, and it doesn’t matter how much you think you know or how many Bible verses you have memorized.”  Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

One final thought, this passage ends with Jesus saying, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”  Jesus says this in the context of their disapproval of his healing a person on the Sabbath day.  It is important that we understand this in the light of the whole Bible.  1 Corinthians 5-6 relate how the local church must render judgments on her members, and Christians must make judgments about how to live in a world full of sinful people.  But in general, we should seek to understand situations and people with a sincere heart, and never with a haughty eye.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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