Learning obedience

 (following on from yesterday) 

When faced with the impossible task of obeying God’s will, it was Jesus’ reverence for his Father that made him pray “with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death,” Hebrews 5:7. That’s because “I have obeyed my Father’s commands” (John 15:10) was the foundation of Jesus’ life. 

That was the starting point in everything in Jesus’ life: “Not my will, but your will be done.” But his Father didn’t make it easy for him. He made Jesus sweat, and cry out in agony when his will pressed down on Jesus and obedience was beyond him.   

Which seems odd, though, because Jesus “was a son,” verse 8, and yet this was the set up his Father put in place for him too, of an impossible command causing Jesus intense mental suffering, but deep respect and reverence driving Jesus to his Father for the ability to obey. 

And the reason for that set up? “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.”   

Can I put that in the context of myself being a son of God – faced with an impossible and agonizing command for me too, like showing proper respect for a loathsome leader? I realize my rights in a democratic constitution, that allow me to challenge our leaders if they aren’t fulfilling their God-given mandate to serve their people properly, but is it also within my rights to despise them? 

No, it isn’t, according to Peter. We’re not supposed to despise anyone, which for us humans is impossible. So now we’re faced with obeying our Father’s will, but finding it impossible. Now what? 

Hebrews gives us the solution: do as Jesus did. Stick to reverent submission and cry out to the Father for help to obey, because he will answer. That’s the process the Father set up for all his children, including Jesus, because we learn through experience and practice that this is how we are able to obey the impossible. And isn’t that what we’re after when, like Jesus, “I have obeyed my Father’s commands” is the foundation of our lives too? 

So now that we know the process and use it to become a “holy and blameless” beloved child of God just like our elder brother, how does that explain why our Father wants us to respect loathsome leaders?…

(More on this tomorrow…)    

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