Tuesday, August 26, 2014
DOING OR KNOWING: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT?
The blessing of God is enjoyed by the doing not the knowing, but we must know in order to do God's work. The knowing is necessary for the doing but the doing is necessary for the blessing. I am struck anew by this truth as I meditate on John 13:17. Jesus has just finished washing the feet of the disciples giving them an example to follow. Jesus says, "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them."
The verse contains a double condition necessary to enjoy God's blessing, but the two conditions are not equal in force. The first condition ("if you know") is a first class condition (ει οιδατε) which assumes that the knowing is a fact - a reality. The first class condition emphasizes the reality of the statement so it could be translated "inasmuch as you know these thing" (Blass/Debrunner, Grammar, p.189). The second condition ("if you do these things") is a third class condition (εαν ποιητε) which assumes that the doing is uncertain or questionable. Jesus assumes that they know what He has been teaching them, but the doing of it is doubtful (Robertson, Grammar, p.1019).
Both knowing and doing are necessary for blessing, but the doing is less certain than the knowing and, therefore, more critical to the blessing. Jesus cuts to the heart of my spiritual life when He makes this statement. I want to enjoy God's blessing, but I try to achieve that blessing through knowing what to do instead of doing what I know. The struggle in my Christian life is not knowing what to do but doing what I know to do. I can waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to know instead of doing what I already know. If I would do what I already know, I would enjoy His blessing while learning more of what I need to know so I can do more of what He wants me to do.