Obedience to Go
This past Sunday, I preached from Mark 6:6-13. The disciples were sent out on the mission to proclaim the Kingdom of God for the first time. What I saw, was the disciples’ simple obedience to Jesus’ instructions. As adults, obedience sort of loses its emphasis in life; we emphasize to children to obey their parents and teachers, but for us it’s not that big of a deal. We move on to what we think are more important things. While in life, as we grow older and more responsible, we may not need the emphasis on obedience as much. However, in our relationship with God, we may need to add extra emphasis.
We see obedience in the disciple’s response to Jesus:
In Luke 5, we see it when Jesus first called Peter. Jesus, the carpenter/teacher, told Peter, the fisherman, how to fish. Peter did it. Then Jesus told Peter to “Come, follow me,” again, He did it. Peter demonstrated right away that he would be a man who could obey the will of God. He didn’t have much else to offer the Kingdom of God, but his obedience was enough.
Later, right before Jesus ascended into heaven, in Matthew 28, the 11 remaining disciples obeyed again:
Matthew 28:16-20 “The Great Commission”
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
In case you missed it, read verse 16 again. Why did the disciples go to the mountain in Galilee? It was obedience to what Jesus said. Due to their obedience, they were there with Jesus, in human form, one last time. He then left them with the charge of their very purpose on Earth, “go and make disciples…”: This mission, hasn’t stopped even 2,000 years later, and is being continually carried out and duplicated in the lives of disciples and will continue to be carried out until the final return of Christ!
There is something significant about faithful obedience. We even see Jesus with an obedient attitude toward Father God. Even though He was God, and had created the world, He demonstrated His humble obedience to the Father’s will multiple times. Finally as it says in Philippians 2:8, He was even obedient to death on a cross. We see the difficulty of obedience in His prayer in the garden, before going to the cross:
Matthew 26:39, 42
39“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
A missionary couple who are friends of ours, live in Myanmar. They recently wrote about obedience on their blog. They were returning to Asia from furlough and feeling the emotional weight of the losses they would experience yet again, as they obediently returned to the mission. God pointed them to Psalm 23, reminding them that though obedience costs us some, we gain the opportunity to have the Good Shepherd care for us as His own. As we obey, let’s remember the joy of being in His flock!
Psalm 23 (NLT)
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.