Summary: Is there anything greater than obedience? Yes there is!!
LIVING BEYOND OBEDIENCE
Scripture Reading: 2 Tim. 2 :4, 5
One day a farmer on leaving for a long trip called his son and gave to him specific instructions. He told him; while I am gone I want you to reap the harvest and plant fresh seeds for the next harvest. The son being an obedient lad reaped the harvest and planted the seeds.
As the farmer was returning to the farm, he noticed that the land was filled with weeds. In between the weeds he saw evidence of the crop that was planted. He was furious he could not believe that his son had allowed the weeds to take over the land. He hurried home to find his son.
On arriving home and calling his son to report, he asked him” Son did you do every thing that I asked you to do?”
“Yes dad,” the son replied, “The crop is in the field and the harvest is in the barn.”
The father was shocked ‘The harvest is still in the barn! You did not sell the produce and the crop is in the field, a field that is overgrown with weeds?’
“Yes dad,” said the lad “You told me to harvest the crop not to sell it and to plant the seeds not to tend it. I did what you told me to do.”
With that the father turned away from his son with tears in his eyes. The produce in the barn had long since rotted and the crop in the field could not now be saved.
The boy was obedient; He did just what he was told and nothing more. But he certainly did not please the father. He acted more like a servant than a son. For a servant may not profit from the masters success but the son inherits his fathers wealth. So often we focus on obeying rather than pleasing. We behave like servants rather than sons. We cannot focus our lives on looking for rules to obey. We must have a principle by which our lives are governed. This principle would take us beyond the region of any laws. Today brothers and sisters, I want to take you on a journey beyond obedience.
Let us open our bibles to Mark 14: 3-5 and read the short passage together.
We pick up this story as Jesus is about to go to Jerusalem to be crucified. Here he is in the house of one Simon the Leper. He along with his disciples was being entertained by this gentleman, when suddenly the whole scenario is changed. In steps a lady with a purpose: A woman with a desire to do something special for Jesus. She had long wanted to do something significant for this man and now the opportunity had come. She steps into the room and pours a bottle of expensive ointment on the Jesus’ head and according to St. John 12: 3 wipes his feet with her hair. The room was filled with the scent of the ointment.
She caught everyone by surprise. The chatter in the room ceased. Everyone paid attention to the actions of the lady. No one expected a woman to be so bold as to perform such an action in public.
But then there was no other woman quite like Mary Magdalene (Mary of Bethany). She was a woman with a difference. Jesus had cast seven demons out of her and given her a new least on life. She is one who had found the plot of land with the pearl present. She had gladly given up all to purchase this piece of land. She had found the messiah in Jesus Christ and her greatest desire was to please him.
This ointment had not come cheaply. She had diligently saved day in and day out to get enough money to purchase it. In fact the cost of the ointment was placed at 300 pence which amounts to the annual salary of an ordinary labourer. This pertained to a man; a woman would probably have to work much harder to raise the same amount. And yet she saw it fit to use it all up on Jesus! Brothers and sister, I would go as far to say that, if Mary did not carry out this action she would have something else to do that would in some way express her affections for Jesus. Her inside was just bursting to do something to show how strong her feelings were for him.
How badly do we want to do something for Jesus Christ? Are we bursting at the seams, looking for an opportunity to show Jesus how much we love him? David in speaking to Araunah in 2 Sam. 24:24 declared
Too many people want to come into the House of God and offer cheap offering with their mouth that cost them nothing. When we want to show appreciation and love to someone we give them something that cost us. The greater the love the more expensive the gift, according to what we can afford. Our offering to God reflects the depth of our love for him. If our offering is such that it is the best we can do, like the widow with the mite, all is well but if we can do much better, then this tells us the extent of our love for God. We pay our tithes as commanded but no one tells how much offering to put in, it is left entirely up to you. We obey but do our offering please God. We must live beyond obedience. We must live to please!