SCRIPTURE: Luke 2:51
(Jesus) went down to Nazareth with (Joseph and Mary) and was obedient to them.
How we admire the obedience a dog shows to its master! Archibald Rutledge wrote that one day he met a man whose dog had just been killed in a forest fire. Heartbroken, the man explained to Rutledge how it happened. Because he worked out-of-doors, he often took his dog with him. That morning, he left the animal in a clearing and gave him a command to stay and watch his lunch bucket while he went into the forest. His faithful friend understood, for that's exactly what he did. Then a fire started in the woods, and soon the blaze spread to the spot where the dog had been left. But he didn't move. He stayed right where he was, in perfect obedience to his master's word. With tearful eyes, the dog's owner said, "I always had to be careful what I told him to do, because I knew he would do it."
Obedience is a fearsome thing. We chaff at the constraints. We long for freedom. We desire no boundaries. We have much to learn.
Jesus was obedient to his parents. We should learn his valuable lesson. We rebel against our parents. We fail to learn the valuable lesson.
Discipleship is being obedient unto to Christ. Much like the dog in the story we should be so obedient to the voice of God that he would have to be careful what he tells us to do knowing full well that it will be done … even if it meant our own death. But isn't that what God through Christ is asking of us ... obedience in that we die to self so that we might live for Christ?
We seek and desire freedom, but help us learn the lesson that it is only through obedience – absolute and total – that true freedom can and will be realized. Amen.