In verse 16, Jesus made the claim that His teaching was not just the teaching of another Rabbi. It was the teaching of God. In verse 17 He is telling us how we can prove that is true.
Intellectuals often say, “When we know, we will do.” Jesus taught, “No, when you do you will know.” According to Jesus, when you apply His teaching to your life you will know by the way the truth He teaches changes your life that His teaching is not the teaching of a man but the very teachings of God.
In the spirit of this principle Jesus established a covenant with His disciples. That covenant was, “Follow Me and I will make you.” (Matthew 4:19) The spirit of His covenant was – “You follow Me. That’s your part. I will make you. That’s My part. You follow Me. That’s your business. I will make you. That’s My business.” This parallels the teaching above that the doing will lead to the knowing.
In one word this process is called “apprenticeship.” The definition of the word “disciple” is “a learner who is doing what they’re learning and learning what they’re doing.” The words “disciple” and “apprentice” are synonyms.
Have you made the commitment to let your doing lead to the experience of knowing that the teachings of Jesus Christ are the Word of God? Are you willing to approach the whole Bible with that same commitment?
Adapted from “When We Do We Will Know” by Dick Woodward.