Concerning Knowledge and Eating Meat

Rebecca Van Noord

Numbers 7:1–47; John 14:1–31; Psalm 8:1–9

It’s easy to equate knowledge with faith and then look down on new believers. Although we might not voice it, those who are less knowledgeable in their faith can seem weak. And sometimes, instead of practicing patience, showing love, and speaking carefully about the hope within us, we enroll them in Bible boot camp for dummies.

But Jesus shows that love is what leads to growth in faith: “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will take up residence with him. The one who does not love me does not keep my words, and the word that you hear is not mine, but the Father’s who sent me” (John 14:23–24).

Paul echoes this in his letter to the Corinthians: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he has not yet known as it is necessary to know” (1 Cor 8:1–2). In reality, the opposite of what we believe is true: anyone who lacks love actually lacks faith (1 Cor 8:3).

Love defines our relationship with God and with each other. Christ died for both the knowledgeable and the weak, and both are caught up in His sacrifice (1 Cor 8:11). God has love and patience for the people whose own search for knowledge led us away from Him. And this should give us all the more love and patience for each other.

How can you practice humility and love with those who haven’t been in the faith as long as you have?

This article was originally posted in Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan.