If ye love me…
January 10, 2013
…keep my commandments. So spake Jesus of Nazareth. (see John 14:15) He knew the connection between deep affection and obedience. His full and complete love for God enabled him to thoroughly obey His will. He said, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (see John 5:30)
That devotion also required great humility! At no time did Jesus say, “I’ll just do my own thing here, and check in with God later.” He trusted the divine direction in every instance – even the Garden of Gethsemane. (see Matt 26:36 to 46) Although that trust seemed to lead through absolutely horrific conditions, ultimately he proved God’s care to be his source – and ours too – of Life itself. Christianity would likely not exist had Jesus followed his own plan and avoided the crucifixion. Because what came after that event is the absolute proof of God’s presence and power for all time and all creation.
Jesus’ willingness to obey his Father under all circumstances sets the standard for us to follow his commandments as a measure of our own fidelity. It might get tough, but it will likely be tougher if we don’t! How so? Let’s look at just a sampling of his directives found in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matt 5-7):
- Cast the beam out of your own eye;
- Love your enemies;
- Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness;
- Agree with your adversary quickly;
- Judge not;
- Pray in your closet;
In each case, he explains the reasoning behind his instruction. For example – if you leave the beam in your own eye, you are useless in helping someone else remove the splinter from their eye. Or, if you avoid seeking God’s kingdom first, you’ll always be in a struggle for stuff. But seeking that kingdom right off the bat invokes the promise that all the stuff will just naturally be yours as you need it.
The effort involved in keeping these commandments is of great value in improving your life because it requires deep thoughtfulness, even prayer. And being faithful over these few things will enable you to be master over many, even the command to: “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:8)
Perhaps the greatest commands of Jesus though are to love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:27) All of his other statements are summarized in these two requirements. Obedience to them means you will naturally obey all the others and ultimately do the things he did. (see John 14:12)
Mary Baker Eddy researched Jesus’ statements over a lifetime and was convinced what he asked is doable. She wrote, “‘He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do,’ is a radical and unmistakable declaration of the right and power of Christianity to heal; for this is Christlike, and includes the understanding of man’s capabilities and spiritual power.” (Mis. 193:27)
Let us love, let us obey, let us heal. The blessings will be infinite.
Melissa Hayden is a Christian Science practitioner in Salem, OR. You can find more information and additional articles at this link. If you like what you’re reading, click the “add me” button.