Written by Brandon Smith

Read: John 14:15-24

Teaching obedience is difficult. Whether it’s a puppy training or child rearing, obedience is a tough skill to master. I’ve had the joy of helping to teach this firsthand with my own children. As my children try to become more and more independent, teaching them to make wise choices and listen to instructions grows ever so painful.

Beyond teaching obedience, being obedient ourselves is difficult. We prefer our own thinking and wisdom for whatever situation we may face. In other words, we want to do things our way. We often rebel against authority that demands obedience.

Yet in this passage, when Jesus begins in this passage to talk about obedience, he doesn’t begin by demanding obedience. Rather, he talks about obedience as an expression of love. Jesus tells us that as a proof of our love for him, we will obey him. We listen and act according to what he says; that is a demonstration of our love for him.

Obedience requires submission. It requires listening to someone or something and acting accordingly. In this case, Jesus recognizes his own submission to the father and their submission to him. He demonstrates what that obedience should look like as a model to follow. He follows that up with saying here that he is sending the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit to be in his people, the disciples. The Holy Spirit being among his people, helping to guide the church to follow in the teaching of Christ. He is calling the disciples to listen and obey the Spirit and his teaching.

What Jesus has taught them, they are to listen and obey even when he isn’t there because the Spirit is there to help them. And us. This applies to us too.

We have an opportunity to obey the truth that God has laid out before us. We are surrounded with opportunities to live out Christ’s teaching and to tell others about the kingdom of God. We have this opportunity today. Now. Let’s start with 1 person now.

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