“If any man wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the teaching whether it is from God…” (John 7:17)
Jesus gave us a principle that shows us how we can know His teaching is the teaching of God. The principle is this: If any man wills to do, he will know. For millennia those who approach the proposition of faith intellectually have said, “When I know, then I will do.” Their premise has been and remains: “the knowing leads to the doing.” Pointing to their temples they say, “Reach me here.” Then, pointing to their heart, they say, “Then I will follow through here.” They are essentially saying, “Reach me intellectually and then I will commit volitionally.”
Jesus cut through that when He proclaimed this principle: the knowing does not lead to the doing. The doing leads to the knowing. When you commit your will to doing what Jesus teaches then the intellectual affirmation will follow. It is only then that you will know the teaching of Jesus is the Word of God and not just the ideas of another Rabbi coming down the pike.
When people followed Jesus on His terms He called them ‘disciples.’ A synonym for that word is “apprentice.” An apprentice and a disciple are learning what they’re doing and doing what they’re learning.
As Jesus apprenticed His disciples they discovered that the doing leads to the knowing. Are we applying this principle to our faith as followers of Jesus Christ?
Dick Woodward, Lackey Free Clinic Health Beat, Summer 2009