Reactions to Obedience

Then He said to His disciples,  “Let us go back to Judea.’

“But Rabbi,”  They said,  “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”

Jesus answered,  “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?  A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light.  It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”  John 11:7-10.

Following the call of God amounts to being put into the middle of a river where the current is strongest. It means we will be buffeted about by every whim of the waters swirling rush to the ocean.  It also means we will have to watch out for the obstacles in the form of rocks and branches that could hurt us.  For this reason we need to either learn to be strong swimmers or paddle the boat where it’s safest:  the center of the flow.

Jesus uses an illustration about “this worlds’ light” to tell us about Himself.  Remember what He said to the disciples when He healed the man born blind? 

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

The light of the world is Jesus.  Following Him means we don’t have to worry about seeing where we’re going because He lights the way.  The disciples were afraid for Him, with good reason, so His actions made no sense to them at all.  Why put His head into the lion’s mouth to no purpose?  That was their mistake for they didn’t understand His purpose, which made it hard for them to absorb the will of God.

Here’s where I get a little intense.

I hear so many Christians telling me what God’s will is for everyone.  “God wants us to be safe”  “God desires us to be secure” “God will provide all your needs”  “God wants us to be happy” and while I agree with all these because I believe God is loving and generous, a study of the Scripture will show these assumptions are imbalanced.  Read 2 Corinthians 10-12 (the chapters) where Paul talks about his work as an apostle.  beaten several times, shipwrecked, hungry, naked, in danger, and the list goes on.  Now study Luke 10, Matthew 10 and several other passages in Scripture, then ask yourself this question,  “What does God expect me to endure?”

Loyalty that is not tested by opposition is an unknown factor.  Love which is not given the ultimate test of loss, pain, suffering and persecution cannot be said to be real.  Many people claim to be followers of Christ but the moment they experience extreme suffering they waver in their faith.  Paul says to believers somewhere (and you can look it up in your concordance),  “You have not endured to the point of death.”  This is not a story which has no trauma or drama in it but one which calls us to the highest form of service—meaning we may lose everything.

Paul in his letter to the Philippians, claimed,  I consider all things lost to me so that I might know Christ.  That’s a bold statement and one which he proved with his life.

The disciples figured Jesus came into the world to bring about a restoration of Israel, and they were not wrong.  Yet they missed the timeline by a couple thousand years.  First the Son of Man had to suffer and die; before even this He had to risk everything (His life) to accomplish the goals the Father set out for Him.  This goal meant that while He was in the world, being its light, He needed to show the disciples what their work would be once He left them.  They were to serve Him in the face of extreme opposition, stand for Him though the heavens looked about to fall and never waver in their faith in His presence or love for them.

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

If Christ is living in us, His light will shine, which means we won’t be stumbling around in the dark because He is our light.  It also means that others who stand with us, even those who might not be believers at the time, will be able to see clearly because of our willingness to let Him be present in our lives.  This also should make us beware because a lot of those in darkness like it just fine and don’t welcome their thoughts and actions being brought to light.  Let’s get this point down:  If we let our light so shine before men, they will hate us, revile us, persecute us and reject us because of Jesus.  Our response, however, is polar opposite to theirs, for we will love them, show grace, extend mercy and forgiveness no matter what they do.  At the same time, we will refuse to stay away from the danger of their company, like Jesus going back to Judea at the promptings of His Father, in order to obey the Lord and Master of our hearts.


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One Response to “Reactions to Obedience”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Loyalty that is not tested by opposition is an unknown factor.

    Loved this line because it’s so true!

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