By Michael E. Brooks
“So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them” (Matthew 21:6 NKJV).
Is there any of us who doesn’t sometimes feel a rebellious urge?
Rejection of authority seems to be a basic instinct, and I am not sure that it is not increasing in popular acceptance with every year. No one admires the hard working conformist. It is the rebel who attracts our interest.
No virtue is more basic to Christianity than that of submission to the will of God. “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
As we read the story of Jesus’ life on earth, and his relationships with his followers, we note that when he spoke they listened; when he commanded they obeyed.
One might well define discipleship as obedience. A disciple is one who learns from another, or who follows another. The ancient relationship of master – disciple was very similar to the more modern practice of apprentice.
The disciple would attach himself to a teacher, serving and helping that teacher in exchange for his education. There was never any question about the nature of the relationship — it was clear who was in charge.
We would do well to remind ourselves that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. He is our teacher and our master. “You call me Teacher and Lord and you say well, for so I am” (John 13:13).
If he is indeed our Teacher and our Lord, we must obey his commands. There is no compromise with this truth. It is the nature of the relationship.
How often do those in authority find themselves having to explain to their subjects why they must do a certain thing, or why they must do it in a certain way? There is that ever present urge to challenge orders, to question authority.
Those in command must prove their right to issue instructions, and defend those instructions’ validity.
How totally inappropriate such a challenge is to the Lord of all creation. Jesus claimed “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth,” (Matthew 28:18).
If that claim is true, how can we hesitate even an instant before obeying his every command? If it is not true, why do we claim faith in him at all?
We do not establish ourselves as stronger, braver or more heroic by defying the power and authority of Christ. No, we simply establish our disbelief and rebellion.
A true disciple does what Jesus commands, quickly, without dispute. That is what it means to follow him.
By Michael E. Brooks