Why call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? by John McIlvenna

by John McIlvenna

Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Luke 6:46


The Lord asked this question while teaching His disciples. They gave Him no answer, and He did not ask them again but spoke a parable to shew them the results of doing or not doing the things that He says. It is up to each disciple to decide what he will personally do with the words of Christ.

The Lord Jesus is the Great God and their Saviour, who is the author and finisher of their faith. The Lord of glory came to lay down His life a sacrifice for their sins to save them from eternal ruin in the lake of fire. In the beginning, He made the heavens and the earth as the Scripture says, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him” John 1:10. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: He layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” Psalm 33:6-9.

The voice of the Lord is powerful (Psalm 29), and His Word is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). In the beginning, the earth responded to His voice, and things happened exactly according to His word. Why is there no response from His disciples?

The parable of the wise man

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like. He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”

All throughout the Old Testament times, God promised and gave great blessings to all of His saints who obeyed His voice. To Abraham God said, “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Ge 22:18
The Israelites received a similar promise. “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth” De 28:1. 8. Joshua received this charge from God. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Josh 1:8-9. There are many more Old Testament references to the promises of God to His people who obey His voice.

God gives similar promises to His obedient children in the New Testament. The Lord Jesus gave His disciples the greatest promise for all who obey His sayings. “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:23. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the abiding presence Father and the Son also within, make the obedient child of God very much like the Lord Jesus when He was here (1 John 4:17). Many similar promises bring divine blessings to the believer who keep the commandments of the Lord (1 John 2:3).

 Answered prayer. (John 15:7)
 Full of Joy (John 15:11)
 Friends of Christ (John 15:14)
 Victory over sin and Satan (1 John 2:14)
 Good understanding of the holy mind and will of God (1 Tim 2:7)  Never fall or fail (2 Peter 1:10)

 Partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4)

The parable of the foolish man

“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Matt 7:26-27

Numerous examples throughout the Old Testament Scriptures teach us the folly of disobeying the commandments of the Lord. Moses had warned the children of Israel before they entered the land of promise, “But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments. And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant. I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.” Lev 26:14-16.
The angel of the Lord reproved them after they settled in the land of Canaan. “And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you: but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.” Judges 2:2-3. The question the angel asked is similar to the one the Lord asked. Jeremiah spoke to the Lord’s people in his day. “Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.” Jer 44:23

The Lord Himself gave the answer to the question that He asked His disciples. “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings.” John 14:24. Although disobedient believers think that they please themselves, they spend their much of their Christian life suffering under the loving chastening hand of God as did the Israelites. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” 1 Cor 11:30-32. They will also suffer loss at the judgment seat of Christ. “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” 1Co 3:15


Brethren and sisters, let us learn valuable lessons from the examples of those who have gone before (Rom 15:4), and live by the words of the Lord Jesus that proceeded out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). Let us learn to follow the perfect example of our heavenly Shepherd, who said, “And He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him.” John 8:29. In His agony in the garden of Gethsemane, He said in His prayer to the Father, “not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42. Paul writes concerning the Lord Jesus, “And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” Phil 2:8-9. If we humble ourselves and obey the words of the Lord Jesus even though they cause suffering, God gives us the promise that we will never fall, and He will do for us in this life, “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Eph 3:20. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” 1Peter 5:6

That disciple whom Jesus loved said, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22.

Our heavenly captain said, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 1:10

J. McIlvenna Email <jorumcilvenna@gmail.com>

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