“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21/NIV).
You may know much about the bible. Perhaps you are a theologian. Possibly you know many scripture passages by heart.
Per chance you would recommend others to get to know the Old and the New Testaments. You feel there are certain books people should know about and one of them is the bible.
Some will maintain that you cannot fully understand the Western history and culture unless you have some regards for the bible. Others will tell you that the Christian holy writings give you some interesting insight into human experience.
I will agree with anybody who says it is good and beneficial to get to know the bible. Yet as you read certain passages of scripture you will learn that mere knowledge of the bible is not enough. An educated student of the bible will fall short of certain benefits unless he puts into practice what he reads.
In the verse quoted above Jesus speaks about those who love him. A true mark of loving Jesus is heeding his instructions. Only he who obeys the words of Jesus will experience certain benefits.
You may know much of the bible, but not feel sure about the heavenly Father’s love towards you. Some are doing all kinds of things to achieve a sense of being loved by a father. Some counsellors may advise you to just imagine how God the Father loved you at times when you painfully missed the love of an earthly father.
Yet Jesus here is telling us something else. It is those who obey the Lord’s instructions that are loved by the heavenly Father. Jesus here speaks of a love that is more real than just imagination.
Some are looking for miraculous healing of their emotions. Others are trying methods of psychotherapy.
Jesus here teaches you a simple principle. If you love him and obey his words, God the Father and the Lord Jesus will love you in a more specific sense. This is a way for you to experience God’s love: “Jesus replied: If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23/NIV).
So if you study the bible, please do not merely look for academic knowledge. Seek to find out who Jesus really was and what was most important to him. Seek to understand his teaching. Pray to him. But most of all put into practice whatever you understand to be the Lord’s will for you.
While here on earth, the Lord Jesus had enemies. They too did know many things about him.
Mere knowledge about Jesus does not prove that you love him. You may know many things about the bible. Knowledge alone is no guarantee that God will bless you. Jesus here promises that those who love him and obey his words will get a chance to experience God’s love.
“If I have… all knowledge…, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2/NIV). May your knowledge of the bible lead you to love Jesus and to obey his words!