And they marveled, saying, 'What sort of man is this, that even the winds and sea obey Him?'
Obedience Brings Eternal Life. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He always obeyed His Father; it was His sustenance, for we read, Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work' (John 4:34). Jesus only did the will of the Father and what He was taught by the Father (John 5:30; 8:28-29). This brings light to our understanding of the only command with the promise of a long life if you obey; and that is to honor our mother and father (Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20; Deuteronomy 12:28; 30:2, 20; Proverbs 30:17). This certainly points to Jesus and why it's repeated through scripture. The wages (payment or reward) of sin are death, and since Jesus never sinned, for He always obeyed, He had to be released back to life from death. Amazing! I bring this to my remembrance often; contemplating that Jesus never did anything of His own will. He never took that extra cookie when told. Extreme obedience, but it sure brought Him a long life; it gave Him eternal life, as the Son of Man. And Jesus is our great example of how we should live, for He said, 'For I have given you an example, that you should do just as I have done to you' (John 13:15).
For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:19).
Perfection is Achieved Through the Purification of Suffering. I just love this truth, Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, by being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:9-10). Jesus suffered too; and it is what made Him perfect to be our mediator of a new and everlasting covenant. Now that He is our mediator (the go-between with God and us), and because He suffered the same afflictions and temptations as us, so that He might become merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God ... so now He is able to to help those who are being tempted (Hebrews 2:17-18). How can it be this way? Certainly the Lord's thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). The thing in which we beg for deliverance and which we want to flee as fast as possible, are the very things that will make us more like Jesus: suffering. And sometimes we indignantly deny His excellency by grumbling against our suffering and our oppressors; becoming despondent and idol in our works, just awaiting our departure. Although subtle, they are acts of rebellion. And we prayed to be more like Jesus, yet we despise our cross we were told to carry (Matthew 16:24).
Then Jesus told His disciples, 'If anyone would come after Me, let Him deny Himself and take up His cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it' (Matthew 16:24-25).
Suffer with Joy. God has determined the plan for your life (Psalm 57:2; 138:8; Job 42:2; Exodus 9:16; Revelation 17:17), He told you that you would be hated on His account in all four gospels (Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:17; John 15:18), to expect suffering (1 Peter 5:9), and to rejoice in it (Romans 5:3-5). Which is exactly why we are to receive suffering with joy, as you will be blessed to receive hope; which produces steadfastness, resulting in you being made perfect and complete (1 Peter 3:14; James 1:2-4). This doesn't mean we obtain perfection, but we are always putting our flesh to death and striving onward towards the mark of victory.
How Can You Gain Such Strength? Follow Jesus! For we read, When He was reviled (abused), He did not revile (insulting criticize or condemn) in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23). He entrusted Himself to God, and that gave Him the strength to endure. That truly is dunamis (miraculous) power, as He joyfully accepted all their false accusations against Him, and He didn't retort a defense, or call others to His aid, even allowing mockers to jeer. He says, ''For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken' (John 12:49). Can you image a life of such effectual and indestructible power? No wonder, He defeated the grave! How could death hold such holiness; it couldn't, as death is the fruit of sin. Eternal life is the fruit of righteousness. Jesus holiness and righteousness certainly had the power to defeat sin, death, Satan, hell, the law, and judgement - while granting assess to the Holy One. Which is exactly the gospel message! And if we want such a reward, we are to repent and believe. True belief results in works of righteousness, which flows from salvation, and endures until the end. We obey His commands out of thanksgiving for the free gift of salvation, which we could never achieve on our own. If even the earth, the sun, the sea, and demons obey, how do we supposed we don't have to?
There is power in obedience! Like it or not, this is the gospel truth.
Obey. No, Really, Obey. The gospel writers add, Your souls being purified in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit, in unpretentious brotherly love from a pure heart loving one another fervently (1 Peter 1:22). That's glorious. You are made like fine wine from practicing unpretentious (G505 anupokritos unhypocritical, sincere) brotherly love (G5360 philadelphia) from a pure (G2513 katharos innocent, upright, clean, guiltless, purged of sin) heart (G2588 kardia inner self, will, center). The fruits of obedience is a life filled with love: love towards God and others. It's just that simple. Why would anyone not want to obey? How many people have defamed God's holiness because He gave commands; instructions to be kind, tender, loving, holy, faithful, blameless, selfless, gentle and pure. Can you image, sharing your time with someone who only has the pureness of intentions with no hidden agendas, or schemes of the devil? Truly the value of life is found in fellowship with others who reverently desire your best and who only bear good tidings of you - while not plotting to gain some advantage from you. It's the promise of life without people who can have a conversation without them being the center; with them interjecting themselves into every story, or them always having the same experience, or them always exclaiming how their experience was more significant. There is no way you can drink in such divine goodness and not be satisfied, for this is almost too good to be true. Only such a place could exist in heaven ...
You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the LORD on you behalf (2 Chronicles 20:17a).
Dear heavenly Father, we give You all thanks, glory and honor for taking the suffering, shame and reproach to make a way for us to be Your children and spend eternity in heaven with You; what sort of love is this, that You would leave exalted holiness to come and be belittled, mocked and rejected - even suffering on the cursed tree of crucifixion; the world has never known such a love as this, only You can teach us such glory; Father speak to our hearts, heal our bodies, minds and souls; teach us to love as You love; let us feel this great love. Amen
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