“Wist ye not that I must be about my father’s business?” (Luke 2:29)
In the book of Luke chapter 2 verses 41-52 the parents of Jesus returned to Jerusalem and found him in the temple studying the scriptures with the elders. When his mother inquired of him regarding the situation, he answered, “Wist ye not that I must be about my father’s business?” In later years during his Gospel ministry, Jesus empowered believers by endorsing this spiritual blank check, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (New Living Translation, 2007) Please note the designation “anyone” represents our cue to participate in the works, lifestyle, and power of Jesus Christ. Wherever the Gospel designates whosoever, if a man, or anyone, as the recipient or doer of an action, it is a “blank check” statement that can be generically redeemed. This is where you come in! This is where I come in! The question remains, are you “about your fathers business” the way Jesus was, in the opening scripture? Only you can answer that question. Either way, as long as you have breath in your body, you can pick up that blank check and sign your name in place of “whosoever, or anyone.”
Apostle Paul proclaimed in Ephesians chapter 4, “11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.” This passage is a listing of the functions and duties belonging to those “whosoever” cashed in the biblical blank check. What they all have in common is “knowledge,” and that knowledge pertains to things concerning Jesus Christ. However, before the acquisition of knowledge, “we all come to such unity in our faith” is listed as a prerequisite (something we must first accomplish/go through). Jesus simplified the knowledge gaining process, into two distinct tasks and recorded the formula in the book of John chapter 7 verse 17. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (King James Bible, Cambridge Edition) This powerful declaration makes it easy to understand the process of doing is required for obtaining knowledge (according to Jesus).
An example of doing equals knowledge, can be easily understood and agreed upon by examining something that effects us all, eating. Before we eat, someone has to prepare the food. The process of cooking food is an art form that reflects skill, imagination, and individuality. However, no matter how wonderful the cooks may be, their beginnings are the same. I will use myself as an example. When I first started cooking, I would follow a written recipe, word for word, reading aloud as I diligently did what the recipe instructed me to do. When the recipe said, “add two eggs,” I broke open to eggs and added them. When I meticulously followed the recipe, the end result was exactly like the picture in the cookbook. More importantly, the finished item tasted as delicious as it looked. After years of practice, I learned to embellish the recipe, and prepare every meal without reading the cook book. I became a knowledgeable cook, through the process of doing the same thing over and over again. This is exactly what Jesus says, “if anyone will do, they shall know,” and know is the root word of knowledge. How many things do you know how to do by heart? Whatever they are, the doing always came before the knowing. Nevertheless, after you know how to do things by heart, you are knowledgeable when it comes to that particular subject or task.
Literal Gospel is all about doing what Jesus commanded us to do, and by the process of practicing his word we become knowledgeable in the things of God! Subsequently, I literally “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39). I literally “forgive 70 times 7” (Matthew 18:22). I literally “love my enemies” and I literally “lend hoping for no return” (Luke 6:35). I literally “continue in obeying the Gospel” (John 8:31) because it proves to Christ how much I love him. It is He who commanded me to “keep his sayings” and “do his will” in order to obtain knowledge of him. “Don’t talk about it, be about it,” is the inner-city translation of John 7:17. Along with reading about it, talking about it, singing about it, believing in it, and having faith in it, do it consistently, tenaciously, and faithfully. What is it? John 8:51, “If a man keep my saying he shall never see death.” After all, eternal life is not something to talk about, it is something to do.