The twelve apostles included "Thaddaeus" (Matt. 10:3).
If you love Christ, you will receive His Word and obey it.
Radio signals are fascinating. At any given moment every room in your house is filled with voices, music, and numerous other sounds—yet you can't hear them unless your radio is tuned to their frequency. That's a modern parallel to a spiritual truth Jesus taught in John 14:21, where He says, "He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." In effect Jesus was saying, "I reveal Myself to those who love Me—those whose spiritual receivers are tuned to My frequency. They receive My Word and obey it."
In the biblical record Thaddaeus is a man of few words. His question in John 14:22 is the only thing he ever said that is recorded in Scripture. It was prompted by his perplexity over Jesus' statement in verse 21 to disclose Himself only to those who love Him. Thaddaeus asked, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?"
Thaddaeus didn't understand Christ's statement because it wasn't consistent with his concept of the Messiah. Like the other disciples, he expected Jesus imminently to vanquish Roman oppression, free God's people, and establish an earthly kingdom wherein He would sit on the throne of David, reigning as Lord and Savior. How could He do that without revealing who He was to everyone?
In verse 23 Jesus responds by reiterating that only those who love Him will be able to perceive Him, and they are the ones within whom He and the Father would dwell.
That brief conversation between the Lord and Thaddaeus addresses the very heart of Christianity. It isn't those who say they love God who are true believers, but those who receive Christ and obey His Word. As Jesus said, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word" (v. 23).
Does obedience to the Word characterize your life? I pray it does. Remember, your obedience to Christ is the measure of your love for Him.
Suggestions for Prayer
Thank God for His Word, by which the Spirit instructs and empowers you to live an obedient life.
For Further Study
Read John 8:31-47.
- To whom was Jesus speaking?
- Why were they seeking to kill Him?
- How did Jesus characterize the devil?
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.