What does it mean to ‘keep the Word of Jesus?’ I suppose there are many interpretations of the ‘Word of Jesus’ but I want to focus on only one in this reflection, namely the connection of this phrase with the will of God. One of the clear themes in Jesus’ life and ministry is his obedience to his Father’s will. Scripturally speaking, when we study what God seems to mean by his “word,” we discover that it is closely associated with his will.

For example, in Genesis, when God speaks – utters the words or commands that bring the world into being – we see the power that God’s word has. It can create something out of nothing. This is also true of God’s will. The example from Genesis also clearly links any understanding of the Word of God to his will.

The Church has always closely associated its understanding of the Word of God with the Scriptures. The Scriptures contain all the truths that are necessary for our salvation. In other words, they manifest God’s salvific will and make it available to us for reflection and prayer. It is a short step from here to understanding that keeping God’s word is a necessary aspect of the life of a disciple of Jesus – someone who is in the process of being saved.

Therefore, keeping the Word of Jesus is central to the life of disciple as it is in his Word that God manifests his will, makes available to us his power and truth and reveals to us his plan of salvation at the very least. Thus, when Jesus speaks of ‘keeping his word’ we can associate many important ideas to the concept. It is not an idea that we ought to dismiss too easily!

It is also important to note that ‘keeping God’s Word’ is not simply the matter of the external obedience to a set of rules or laws but is primarily to be understood from the standpoint of our heart response to God’s offer of salvation.

Do I tend to see my life as a disciple of Jesus as merely following a whole set of rules or do I see it as an opportunity to enter into a relationship with Jesus.

Holy Spirit, help me to discern the Word of God for my life with truth and accuracy. Never allow me to dismiss God’s Word as something with little or no relevance to my life.