How do we show our love for the Father? Is it by the songs we sing, the worship we bring, church attendance, giving, or the prayers we pray? Jesus had a different perspective on what loving the Father looked like. And it’s none of the above, as noteworthy as they are. Let’s read and find out.
“I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over Me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what My Father has commanded Me. “Come now; let us leave.”
John 14:30-31 NIV
How would the world know that Jesus loves His Father? By His total submission and obedience of laying His life down. He proved it by not deviating a little to the left or right, but exactly as the Father commanded Him to. That word command is also like saying He was ordered to. But based on the relationship between Father and Son, we know it wasn’t a “do it or else,” but a labor of love approved by both parties.
Jesus left no room for Satan to even squeeze himself in. His total submission to His Father’s plan created a barrier between the flesh He lived in and the assignment. The love and oneness He shared with the Father consumed Him. He had a one track mind, and that was His greatest defense against the enemy. There was another instance where we see this determination towards the Father’s plan. Let’s read.
“Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men [whose conduct is opposed to God].”
“Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem. And He sent messengers before Him; and they reached and entered a Samaritan village to make [things] ready for Him; But [the people] would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was [set as if He was] going to Jerusalem.”
Luke 9:44, 51-53 NIV
A quick read of the verses would suggest that the Samaritans were not welcoming to Jesus, but if you study it out you’ll see that He gave no indication that He was stopping, but rather was focused on Jerusalem. Jerusalem, the place where He would face the ultimate test of His love and obedience to the Father. If you read the entire chapter you’ll notice varied events taking place. The disciples were insulted even angered by the poor reception of the Samaritans, but Jesus rebuked them, and reminded them of why He came. Verse 56. The scripture said He just kept going. Jerusalem was the destination.
Whenever you are on an assignment, don’t make room for distraction and emotionally charged responses. There was a lot going on while Jesus was walking towards Jerusalem. I’ll share a few. But nothing deterred Him. He gave some short but poignant responses but kept it moving. True love will always face testing, but true love never allows for compromise.
“And it occurred that as they were going along the road, a man said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. And Jesus told him, Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head. And He said to another, Become My disciple, side with My party, and accompany Me! But he replied, Lord, permit me first to go and bury (await the death of) my father. But Jesus said to him, Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and publish abroad throughout all regions the kingdom of God. Another also said, I will follow You, Lord, and become Your disciple and side with Your party; but let me first say good-bye to those at my home. Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:57-62 AMPC
A lot going on wouldn’t you say? But His face was set towards the command of His Father. He challenged everyone He met on the way to decide where their loyalties laid. He was purposeful in His mission and He was asking for the same. Love won’t make excuses when there’s work to be done. Jesus utilized every moment He was given. Even His rest time wasn’t wasted. He so fellowshipped with His Father that He could be awakened from a deep sleep and still respond to a storm without missing a beat. The love connection was undeniable.
So what about us? How are we proving our love for Him? It goes beyond acts of kindness or duty. Jesus’ love for the Father went beyond being dutiful. The love He desires demands or commands a sacrifice. A sacrifice of self. A total abandonment of personal agendas to submitting to doing “exactly” what the Father commands. No excuses, no cutting corners, no delays. The people wanting to follow Him all had personal things they wanted to attend to before they would consent to forsake all. Jesus welcomed the cross to teach or show us what loving the Father looks like. Love that is heaven approved. What are we willing to sacrifice to show the world that we love the Father, and do exactly what He commands us?
Jesus Himself said that the way we proved our love was by keeping His commandments (not the big ten) but rather the Words that He teaches us. Or another way to say it is, prove your love by doing exactly what I command.
“If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.”
John 14:15 AMPC
Are you struggling with doing exactly as He’s asked? Then check your love meter. We’ll do anything for love right? Then prove it! Jesus did. At a high cost. And here we are, because He did it exactly the way His Father commanded. True love requires sacrifice. Will you be full of excuses as those Jesus met on the way to Jerusalem? Or will you forsake all and cleave only to Him? Take the love test. There’s no higher call than full surrender. Are you in?
Father, Jesus showed us what pure love and obedience looks like. I know we stumble over our own hesitation to surrender all. But considering all You’ve done to redeem us, how can we approach You with excuses. We have so much to gain by obeying You. Please help us by Your Spirit to be more like Jesus, doing exactly as You command so we too can show the world how much we love You. In Jesus Name. Amen
Your obedience is your worship. WT
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit