“Seriously. I’m not making this stuff up!”
That’s the forceful claim Jesus makes about what he’s teaching. What provokes such a statement is that the people listening to him are utterly amazed. They can see he’s not an educated man. Yet, what he says is far more educated and wise than anyone they’ve ever heard before.
So Jesus tells them right up front: This teaching doesn’t come from me. It comes from God the Father. He sent me to do his will and to teach his truth.
Then Jesus says something imminently practical. He answers the question, “How can you know for sure if my teaching comes from God?”
Jesus’ answer is, “Try it. Just try it out, and see for yourself. Take my teachings for a test drive.”
His statement is made with no qualifications, no “ifs, ands, or buts.” It’s simply this, “If you choose to do the will of God, you will see.” And this is not something entirely new Jesus is saying. We’ve heard it before, going all the way back to the Psalms: “Taste and see that the Lord is good…” (Psalm 34:8, NIV).
So, if you want to become convinced that Jesus is the Son of God, true God himself, your Savior from sin, your Redeemer and King, then simply try out his teachings and see. Start doing the things that he says to do. Stop doing the things he says not to do. Take his truth out for a spin and see how it drives.
And ask God himself to provide you with faith. You won’t be able to generate it on your own. It’s just not in you. But the power to believe is in the gospel!
After some time, and a few trial runs with Jesus’ teaching (especially the gospel!), you will begin to sense, then to see with greater and greater clarity, that Jesus is who he says he is. You will come to understand that he is teaching you God’s truth.
If there’s any truth to be aligned with, that’s the one… because in the end, God’s truth is the only truth. If there’s any person to be aligned with, he’s the one… because in the end, God’s Son is the only Son of God.
Take him up on his invitation to give his truth a test drive.
“Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him'” (John 7:16-18, NIV).
Our Bible reading for Tuesday, May 12, is Judges 14:1 – 15:20, John 7:14-44 and Proverbs 11:29 – 12:7.
Lord, God, Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit and the wisdom that comes from above. I struggle with faith in your word, in your truth, and in your Son, Jesus. I cannot believe on my own. I need your help. Give me the will and the strength to try your word and your truth out in my life. Use my experience of your word to persuade me that your Son, is my Savior and my Lord.
Header image based on "Ferrari Spider 458, fresh off the lot" by Steve Jurvetson, CC By 2.0