Summary: Believers should also be motivated by the knowledge that their heavenly Father both blesses obedience and disciplines disobedience in His children
How Jesus Learned Obedience Through Hardship (Heb 5:8)
"He learned obedience through the things He suffered." (Heb 5:8)
Everyone who wants to make a success out of his or her life has to remain teachable. Jesus humbled Himself by temporarily setting aside His rights to take on the form of a man. Through the ordeals of life Jesus’ humanity was made perfect through suffering. Even though he was the Son of God, it was necessary for Jesus as a human being to learn obedience not because he was disobedient, yet so He could obey God in areas He had never experienced before. Through practice, we finely tune our senses to discern good and evil.
Application: Without a learner’s attitude we will miss out on many valuable lessons that the Lord wants to teach us in His quest to perfect us in every area.
Illustration: Dirty Room
A friend often told me about the problems he had getting his son to clean his room. The son would always agree to tidy up, but then wouldn’t follow through. After high school the young man joined the Marine Corps. When he came home for leave after basic training, his father asked him what he had learned in the service.
“Dad,” he said. “I learned what ‘now’ means.”
Contributed by Jan King, Humor in Uniform, Readers Digest, May, 1996, p. 174.
1. Jesus taught His disciples that people would only obey those who they know and trust. The more we know the Lord’s attributes they more we are able to trust Him. A close relationship with the Lord enhances our ability to obey Him in all areas of life and ministry. Those who struggle to obey the Lord are lacking in their knowledge and trust in the Lord’s complete characteristics. Jesus told the disciples, "If the world persecutes me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me." (John 15:20,21) The greatest challenges today involve helping people know, love and trust the Lord with all their heart – obedience will follow.
Illustration: Faithful Dog
How we admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that’s exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn’t move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master’s word.
With tearful eyes, the dog’s owner said, “I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it.”
Our Daily Bread, January, 19
2. Jesus exemplified a teachable attitude from the time of his youth. After three days of frantically looking for their lost twelve year old son, Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple courts sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone in the temple were amazed the level of His understanding and answers. When his parents saw him they were astonished. He mother said, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you. Jesus said, "Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house? (Lk. 2;47-50)
Illustration: First Duty
Peter T. Forsythe was right when he said, “The first duty of every soul is to find not its freedom but its Master”.
The Integrity Crisis by Warren W. Wiersbe, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 22
3. Jesus continued to grow in wisdom throughout His life. Doctor Luke writes about Jesus, "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:52) Every believer has a responsibility to grow mentally, socially, culturally, morally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When we cease to grow we are subject to regressions.
Illustration: Motivations For Obedience
The believer is assured of salvation from hell and is eternally secure, since that salvation is based solely upon the finished work of Jesus Christ (John 10:28,29; Rom 8:38,39). Therefore, it is inconsistent with the Gospel and with Scripture to seek to gain or keep eternal salvation by godly living. The Scripture, however, does present several motivations for obedience in the Christian life.
1. A powerful motivation for living the Christian life is gratitude to God for saving us by His grace (Rom. 12:1,2; 2 Cor. 5:14,15; Gal. 2:20).