The Purpose of Constatives in the Bible
A good majority of Jesus’ teachings were constatives, as he was simply stating truths that were unfamiliar to all the people during that time. Certainly, along with the constatives came performatives, but teachings such as the Sermon on the Mount were largely, if not entirely, constatives.
One of my favorite constatives is when Jesus was comforting the disciples and was reassuring them of their place in him, as well as who he was. We can see that instance in this following passage:
1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God. Believe in me also. 2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If this were not true, would I have told you that I am going there? Would I have told you that I would prepare a place for you there? 3 If I go and do that, I will come back. And I will take you to be with me. Then you will also be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. So how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father also. From now on, you do know him. And you have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered, “Don’t you know me, Philip? I have been among you such a long time! Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. So how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father? Don’t you believe that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority.
The Father lives in me. He is the one who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say I am in the Father. Also believe that the Father is in me. Or at least believe what the works I have been doing say about me. 12 What I’m about to tell you is true. Anyone who believes in me will do the works I have been doing. In fact, they will do even greater things. That’s because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do anything you ask in my name. Then the Father will receive glory from the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name. I will do it. (John 14:1-14)
Even when the disciples had questions, doubts, and fears, the statements of Jesus did not change. Their hesitancies did not diminish the truth of constatives. Such is true with us. When others question the statements you make about Jesus based on the Bible, the truth of the Bible does not diminish.
What the disciples said in the passage was true for them at the time. They couldn’t grasp the thought of Jesus leaving them and they did not know where he was going. They need a form of proof or assurance that what Jesus was saying were facts. But Jesus himself was the proof.
The inability to comprehend a certain constative does not make it a false or failed constative. In that scenario, the constative remains true.
And then we have the constatives that teach, and the best example of this is Jesus:
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will
say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:21-27)
Jesus, again, was simply stating facts. It is true that not everyone who calls him “Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven. It is true that those who put his words into practice are considered wise and that those who don’t are just waiting to be devastated when storms come.
Constatives have many purposes, many forms, and what’s important is that we know the reason why these statements are made and how true they are to us, even if they fail to be considered true to others.
Experience the Power of Prophecy as a gift to open your mind to receive the Mind of Christ.
How can make your prayer a request to the Lord?
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