Jesus, Not a Man of Letters but a Man of Action

April: John 7-10

In John 7, Jesus travels to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, the harvest feast. He originally was going to go in secret but shows up at the temple to teach. The Jews were shocked by the depth of his teaching and asked, “How knoweth this man letters having never learned?” (John 7:15.) As if in today’s world one might ask, “How can he be so smart without a college degree?”

Jesus responds by explaining that his doctrine is of the Father and “If any man will do his will, he will know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself.” (7:17) It is by living the commandments that we realize the extent of their blessing in our lives. We need to “experiment upon the word” (Alma 32:27) to really know if it works and is true.

Not only do we then get to see with our own eyes, we also learn what some counsel from the Lord really means as we discover how to make his word work in our individual circumstance. Benjamin Franklin said,

Tell me, I forget.

Teach me, I remember.

Involve me, I learn.

The Lord wants us involved. James said, “Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.” James 1:22. But doers of the word can still struggle, if their hearts aren’t prepared. As we plant the seeds of faith by obeying god’s words, there are two factors that go into it taking root. The first is whether the seed is good, which it is! But even if the seed is good, it will not grow unless it is planted in fertile ground.

In the parable of the sower, the seed is cast in three different areas. In the first, it is cast by the way. This is when we don’t even try and simply waste what was given. In the second area, the ground is stony and so although we do the work somewhat, the seed of faith still doesn’t really grow. Our hearts can grow hard as they are exposed to trials and disappointment, but we are promised if we turn to Christ, “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you and heart of flesh, and I will put my spirit within you.” (Ezekiel 36:26,27)

The last area is good ground. Whether we need to heal our hearts through the spirit or have the prepared, when we make our efforts to do his will with this attitude, we will see results. We will feel the peace the gospel brings. We will see the seed grow and create new talents, opportunities, ideas and friendships. We will see answers to our prayers and even miracles. It will begin to be delicious to us!

Neal A Maxwell said, “Only by aligning our wills with God’s is full happiness found. Anything less results in a lesser portion.” It is in the doing, that we find the fullness of truth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s