‘Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’ (vv16–17)
Learning is far more than an extension of knowledge. The very essence of knowing is application, a demonstration of our learning. How might I take what I know and allow it to influence how I live my life? John Chrysostom, the fourth century bishop of Constantinople, commenting on this passage wrote, ‘For to know, belongs to all; but to do, not to all. On this account He said, ‘Blessed are you if you do them.’
Following Jesus means that what we understand must deeply influence the way we live our lives. This is not simply a moral code we adopt but much more the degree to which we invest our lives into God’s purpose. Our understanding of God shapes the outcomes, or causes, in which we invest our time and energy.
Scripture clearly established those characteristics that demonstrate Christian life. Both the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount provide insight into God’s intentions for our welfare, individually and communally. Committing them to memory may act as a useful guide, but they have no substance until we deliberately frame our life actions on them. They are for living, not simply learning. This means seeing beyond the letter of the law to embrace its spirit.
The Christian message is fleshed out in our life. Discovering how we might be best enabled to realise God’s call through our daily lives is critical to effective discipleship and practical mission. We live to follow Jesus, whilst at the same time being commissioned and sent out by Him.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 2 Chron. 31:20–21; Ezra 6:13–22; Gal. 5:13–26; Col. 3:1–17.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: How good are you at putting hands and feet on your learning and living the God-life?
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, may I remain focussed upon Your purpose and live to serve it every day. Amen.’