“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land
the LORD your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12)
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them.51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:49-52)
OBEDIENT. This word is on the grade level word lists I use as one portion of my literacy assessments with students. The interesting fact about this word is that, over the course of 25 years when I was the reading specialist at the high school and even now as a literacy tutor, almost all the students I have tested are not familiar with this as a sight word and mispronounce it or try to skip sounding it out altogether. Hmmm…what messages might we infer from this pattern?
OBEDIENT. It is, in fact, a word that we may not want to learn to recognize. Even being able to pronounce it might result in the knowledge and memory of its meaning and how we were disobedient to obedience, thus invoking childhood or adolescent visions of hearing the voice of a parent ordering us to our rooms, losing important privileges, being grounded for two weeks, or waiting in a chair outside the principal’s office. Even though we may not like to be obedient at times in our lives, it is something we must learn and accept for our own safety from the time we are toddlers– and for our own salvation as we mature in age and progress in knowledge of the Lord.
OBEDIENT. Jesus gave us the example of obedience. He was, in all respects, obedient to His heavenly Father and to His earthly parents. From a young boy the age of twelve, Jesus knew He needed to be talking with the teachers in His Father’s house. He was respectful, “listening to them and asking questions.” (Luke 2:46) Even though His knowledge was greater than these teachers, Jesus knew His place as a young boy in the company of elders. Jesus also left His Father’s house at that time and went back to Nazareth with His earthly parents and “was obedient to them.” (Luke 2:51) This young boy, only twelve, who could have been haughty, prideful, arrogant, overbearing, and condescending toward the teachers and His earthly parents was, instead, obedient. Jesus was raised to know and follow the commandments. He was a son who honored his earthly father and mother through obedience to them; He was a Son who honored His heavenly Father through obedience to Him— “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
OBEDIENT. It is more than a word. It is a mental and physical act which leads us to the Teacher-to the Father-and to the Father’s House. We must be the examples of obedience to those who do not recognize the importance of the word in God’s plan of salvation. It is a word that may have negative connotations of weakness, compliance, and even oppression in a world that esteems strength through independence and self. But in God’s plan, “obedient” is a word associated with trust, love, hope, and freedom. When we are obedient to the Lord, we willingly give Him our love and trust while He, in turn, offers us His everlasting love in the promise of eternity with Him.
“God does not bless religious efforts—He blesses heart-felt obedience.” ¹ Let us give due honor to our Father through obedience from our hearts.
¹ Jim George. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes
(Sharon G. Tate blog March 6, 2016) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word