Confidence and obedience: mutual accelerants

[If you accidentally received this twice, sorry!]

Check out this pattern in John 1:

Andrew and another disciple asked Jesus where he was staying: “Come, and you will see” (verse 39).

Jesus calls Philip with the simple but ever-direct words: “Follow me” (verse 43).

Philip tells Nathaniel that they have found the Messiah. Nathaniel isn’t so sure, so Philip says, “Come and see” (verse 46).

One of the contributions these verses make to our understanding of discipleship is that confidence and obedience are mutual accelerants. They go hand in hand. By confidence I mean confidence in who Jesus is. By obedience, I mean following him and doing the things he teaches us to do. 

On the one hand, we get how confidence increases obedience. The more confident we are in Jesus, the more obedient we are going to be to him. We get that, check. 

But what we often miss is that the opposite is also true: that obedience increases confidence. The more you do what Jesus tells you to do the more confident you become in him! They say that seeing is believing, but doing also increases believing.

Hence, confidence and obedience are mutual accelerants.

Do you want more confidence in Jesus? Do you want more assurance that following him is a good use of your time and energy?

If so, shift into gear. Not only does neutral not get you anywhere, but it doesn’t tend to increase your confidence in the one who calls you forward.


–Sermon (January 30, 2022): “The difference between a 2D and 3D disciple.

–Bible Study Podcast (January 30, 2022): “Follow me: Jesus enlists disciples (Growing Deeper with John 1:35-51).”

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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