We may believe that Jesus said these things. The question is, “Do we believe them enough to obey Him?
13 On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
At one point in Jesus’ ministry, probably just a few months before His crucifixion, He went up to the festival of Tabernacles, which happens near the beginning of the Jewish civil New Year. It amazes me to note how many times Jesus told them that He was from heaven, that God was His Father, and that He hears God, sees Him working, and is obedient to Him. Let’s look at those passages:
16 ‘My teaching isn’t my own,’ replied Jesus. ‘It comes from the one who sent me! 17 If anyone wants to do what God wants, they will know whether this teaching is from God, or whether I’m just speaking on my own account. 18 Anyone who speaks on his own behalf is trying to establish his own reputation. But if what he’s interested in is the reputation of the one who sent him, then he is true, and there is no injustice in him.’ John 7:16-18
28 As Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he shouted out, ‘You know me! You know where I come from! I haven’t come on my own behalf – but the one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him! 29 I know him, because I come from him, and he sent me!’ John 7:28-29
At this point, the leaders tried to arrest Him, but since His time had not come, they couldn’t do it. The text doesn’t say why they couldn’t, only that they couldn’t. Even the temple guards wouldn’t arrest Him. They would hear Jesus talk and then come away saying, “No one ever spoke like this!” John 7:46. But there’s more…and we’ll pick it up tomorrow.
The proof was there in both words and deeds for anyone to believe Jesus. Yet, He did not demand a following. He knew that everyone would fall away at some point. Still, He went to the cross for us, through death, and then out the other side to eternal life (life in the new age). He promises us that very same life. Let’s live for that life rather than this life.
Abba, I have been challenged lately to consider my wealth expendable. I’m not a rich person by American standards, but I have all I need and most of what I want, with plenty to spare. How might I serve the poor and/or further Your kingdom? I will be waiting for You to answer. Amen (for now).