Blessed Obedience

By Not Known

There was a very interesting incident in Luke 11 that we often miss. As Jesus continued in his journey toward Jerusalem, he gave various instructions to his disciples. As they moved along, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said: “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed” (Lk 11:27).

The woman recognized Jesus’ teaching and thought he was a fine example. Accordingly, in Jewish tradition, when a mother is proud of her son, she would remember this tradition and shout this phrase out to a listening crowd. This recognition expresses a sense of pride and proclaims to the world that such a fine character is indeed a blessing.

Jesus, however, took the opportunity to explain blessedness in the right perspective. True blessedness, he said, was not about family honour. It was a matter of obeying the Word of God. He had, in fact completed a series of teaching on the various ways a human heart may be possessed, and the woman’s shout, rather than being a distraction, was an excellent opportunity to affirm his point. The human heart reveals its owner by its obedience. And the heart whose owner is God is indeed blessed.

For many of us, true obedience is elusive. We often are obedient to God “up to a point” which means we are actually not obedient at all. Obedience “up to a point” is eventually disobedience for it shows that we hold someone or something else higher than the Lord. We are really bluffing ourselves and kidding others. For when convenience supersedes obedience, we reveal our true idols. We discover who or what rules us.

As such, we have to be careful of our own capacity for deceiving even ourselves. We like to think we are obedient to God. For once in a while, when something is in conflict with our discipleship, we are tested on our obedience. Perhaps, we are told to make a false report to gain a promotion. Perhaps we’re fasting, but an important dinner invitation comes our way. The possibilities are limitless yet the dilemma is similar. We must choose between the inconvenience of obedience and the expedience of moral laxity. We must decide who our real master is.

True blessedness belongs to those who hear the word of God and obey it.