Devotion March 02
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
Jesus was being challenged by some Jewish Pharisees concerning His claim that He is the Son of God. However, Jesus quashed their attempts to discredit Him. He never sought to conceal the truth, even in the face of most fearsome opposition. With greater boldness and determination our Lord declared the truth, even though the Jewish leaders were fuming with anger. The more they opposed, the more He testified.
His answers and assertions were so convincing that some of the Jews who heard Him speak believed at once that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. They received His doctrine. Though many of the Jewish leaders became more obstinate and cynical under His preaching, there were also many who repented and believed on Him upon hearing His irrefutable, cogent and compelling proclamation of truth.
The unbelieving and recalcitrant Pharisees often followed Christ to engage Him in debates, and to denounce His teachings. They also wanted to dissuade the people from following Him. Jesus was fully aware of their intentions. So He said to the believing Jews, what true discipleship means. He said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.”
It is not uncommon that some hearers, being moved by the reasoning and earnestness of the preacher, manifest a great amount of sympathy and even excitement about the truth expounded. However, their enthusiasm soon vanishes, and they are no more to be found among the adherents of Christ. Such fleeting fervour is not the mark of a true disciple.
The true evidence of a genuine disciple of Christ is that he continues in the Saviour’s Word. This is the true test of Christian character. The apostle John said in 1 John 2:4, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” So the apostle also reminds us in 1 John 2:24, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” It is to those who persevere in His Word with obedience that Jesus says “then are ye my disciples indeed.” True Christians will always delight in the Word of their Lord; and only such will have the attestation and assurance from the Lord that they are His true disciples.