Jesus is the quintessential model for obedience. We see the first example of obedience in Luke 2:49, where we read, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” He had an awareness of the Father’s will. He was obedient to His calling to discuss scripture with the learned men in the Temple. Yet, on the heels of this statement, in verse 51, we also see that Jesus was obedient to his step-father, St. Joseph and his mother Mary, when once reunited with His parents. Luke tells us, “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” (Luke 2:51).
We see another example of Jesus’ obedience to the Father in the passages of the Temptation of Jesus by the devil (Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13). Not only does He not succumb to the temptations, but He makes known the will of the Father; the will that Jesus freely obeys.
The most striking display of Jesus’ obedience is on Holy Thursday, in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He prays to the Father asks, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not as I will, but as you will” (Matt 26:39). Think about this request for a moment. Jesus is God. He has an awareness of exactly what will happen to Him. Now, take a pin and press the tip against your wrist (but don’t draw blood). Hurts, doesn’t it? Magnify that pain a thousand-fold with the thought of a HUGE, thick nail piercing that same spot, all the way through, and staying there. Unbearable, am I right? Now think about how Jesus felt at that moment in the garden knowing what was to come and could still say “but as you will” (Matt 26:39).
Be Like Jesus: Be Obedient
What is happening in your life, where you find obedience to God to be a struggle, or an inconvenience, you are unable to trust in His providence? Do you stray and become disobedient because you think it is an easier route? God never said that this life would be easy. Think about those areas in your life where you could improve in obedience. Start by reviewing your ability to adhere to the Ten Commandments. Then embrace and practice obedience with freedom. Reunite yourself with Jesus through the sacrament of Reconciliation. Make a conscious choice to obey and practice God’s laws.