… to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
we send dogs to obedience school. We think of obedience as a negative thing. Wives have successfully removed ‘to love and obey’ from the wedding vows. We bow the knee to no-one. In our approach to God, we no longer really obey, we acquiesce or we agree. We look to God in sermons or Bible reading to see if he has any good ideas that we haven’t thought of yet. When those ideas are fresh, original, and palatable we will adopt them. However, this is not fully compatible with what it means to obey in faith. Our relationship with Jesus has too inflated a view of self. Our humanism has made us the ultimate judge of all things. We have diminished trust. We have diminished faith.
The biblical view is firmly rooted in the holiness of God. God is completely worthy of all trust and obedience. He is not like your fallible father or mother. He is not trying to get one over on you. God is eternally good and eternally wise. His will is not easily understood and if we want to know what the end of the road is before we agree to travel it, we will not be obedient. We must relinquish control. We must acknowledge our finite perspectives. We must, just as faithful Christians have through the ages, submit ourselves to a transcendent God without knowing how things will turn out.
A dog who has been through training school looks to his master with complete trust. They have a positive view of their master and will even sacrifice themselves for their master. This is right because a good human has more capacity for understanding and knowledge than a dog does. God transcends mankind in ways far more humbling than man transcends a dog. We must learn to dismiss our fear, we must sacrifice our precious thoughts and dreams and see if God revives them or builds a life in Christ far more worthy of what it means to truly be human.
Help us to overcome the world’s negative view of obedience. Help us to willingly submit ourselves to your plans and dreams for us which are far higher than the dreams that we have for ourselves. I want to know your will and to live it. My desire for experiencing you has surpassed my desire to protect myself and be in control. At least for today, because I realise its futility and pettiness.
- To whom does the passage say to be obedient?
- How is obedience related to being sprinkled with blood?
- How are grace and peace withheld from those who continue to struggle with realising their identity as obedient Christ followers?
- What is your view of obedience?
- How can you increase your obedience to Jesus?