Love and Obedience

John 14:24 KJV

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

We say we love people, and we prove it by showing care towards them. In this verse, Jesus says those who love him keep his sayings. We show Jesus care by obeying his teaching. But those who do not truly care for Jesus do not keep his sayings, even though he has only said what he heard from the Father. The implication is that to love the Father you must love Christ.

If you do not love Christ, you do not love the Father. Jesus cares for his disciples. He warns them and gives them a way to test their love. They can tell, and prove, they love Jesus by obeying him. It is the same for modern believers. We can measure our love by reviewing our obedience. And if we see room for improvement, we can rejoice because we know how to pray. We can pray for greater love and greater obedience.

Jesus obeyed the Father. He did not have a sinful nature. It was in his nature to love and obey the Father. Therefore, the Father revealed himself to Jesus. Though Jesus’ obedience was divinely inspired, his many choices to obey were done in his flesh. We see how things should be as we study Christ. Like Christ, upon our rebirth into the Kingdom of God, we are free from our sinful nature. We are free to obey and love both Jesus and the Father.

Lord, please help me love and obey you in everything I do. Deliver me from the philosophy of the world and help me learn the teachings of the Bible so I may obey you more fully. Lord, let my life shine for you. Teach me your ways. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Test Questions

John 6:3-6 WEB

Jesus went up into the mountain, and he sat there with his disciples. [4] Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. [5] Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?” [6] This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.

Have you ever felt like God was asking you to do something impossible? You may have been right. In the passage above, Jesus asks Phillip an impossible question. Jesus asks about buying food for the crowd that was following them. The crowd was very large and he asked this question to test Phillip.

Ironically, Jesus knew it was impossible for them to buy that much food. So, why does he ask? Jesus asks Phillip about the bread to test him. Jesus does not actually want Phillip to go and buy bread. Jesus wants Phillip to recognize him as Messiah. Can you imagine if Phillip jumped up from that conversation and started a quick fundraiser to get the money?

Have you ever jumped up in a rush to do the Lord’s will? I have. What a disaster. All of which could have been avoided if I had slowed down. It is a real epiphany to learn that Jesus is interested in our growth more than he is interested in our works. If we slow down and think rationally, and the only solution we can come up with is supernatural, it may not be our job to do the work, but instead, to trust the Lord.

Lord Jesus, please help me recognize the difference between what I can do and what you can do. Help me trust you more, resting in quiet confidence. I do not want to walk in fear that everything is a test. Rather, help me recognize when you are trying to teach me something. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Someone Jesus can Trust

John 4:25-26 WEB

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes, he who is called Christ. When he has come, he will declare to us all things.” [26] Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.”

The woman at the well marveled at the words of Christ. Jesus had been telling her wonderful things. However, this was a woman with great social skills, and she knew how to navigate politics. So, she tests Jesus with a statement of faith. She does not ask a question that will risk either of them losing face. Rather, she makes an exploratory statement. She states the facts, “Messiah comes, he who is called Christ.” And in a rare moment of transparency, Jesus simply tells her the whole truth, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.”

How often does the Lord speak the truth to us? A better question might be, how often do we listen? If we never listen, it is unlikely we will ever hear God’s secrets. In Jeremiah 33:3 the prophet tells us that God will tell us great things we do not know. However, if we want God to tell us his wonderful secrets, we need to cultivate a relationship built on trust with God. Before the Lord is going to tell us these great and unsearchable truths, he needs to be able to trust us. But we also need to trust Jesus.  

It is not enough to trust God for our salvation. If we believe fully, our behaviors will change. We will read and know the Bible so that we can understand God and what he wants from us. One of the benefits of the covenant of salvation is that God will tell us his secrets. To hear these secrets, we must cultivate a relationship with God that is built upon trust. And that trust looks like something specific to God.

A trust that God approves of will lead us to believe and obey the words of Christ. If we are not in obedience, the Lord said in Matthew 7 that he does not know us. If we are not in obedience the Lord will not trust us. Without trust and a listening ear, God will not tell us his secrets. He trusted the woman at the well. She was a sinner and yet Jesus trusted her. That tells us a lot about the Samaritan woman. She was a person who loved and pursued the knowledge of God. She had a relationship with God even though she was not a Jewish woman. In other words, she was not the right kind of person for God’s people to accept. Yet Jesus accepted her and told her his secret. Namely that He was the Messiah, the Christ.

Lord Jesus, please help me read and learn your word so that I can obey you. I want to have a trust relationship with you that allows you to tell me your secrets. Help me trust you more and help me be more trustworthy. In Jesus’ name, amen.