Reading: Matthew 3:1-17
“We (the apostles) are ready to punish all disobedience
when your obedience is fulfilled” (2 Cor 10:6)
John the Baptist must have learnt obedience from his parents who were “walking in all the commandments of the Lord, blameless” (Lk 1:6). His ministry in turn was “to turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just” (v17). He accepted to baptise Yahushua only when the appeal was made on the basis of fulfilling God’s righteous commandments.
Yahushua began His ministry only at thirty years of age. Until then He was practising a walk of obedience before the Father. Approving His spirit of submission and obedience, the Father testified at the commencement of His ministry, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Mt 3:17).
Evangelism means calling people to “obedience to the faith” (Rom 16:25,26). Disobedient men and women are disqualified to proclaim the evangel. They will only bring dishonour to the Name of God among the non-Christians (Rom 2:22,23). Do we wonder why the Church in India still fails to impress the society? Loud speeches and loud-speakers do not move communities. When we ask people, especially those who can think, “Why don’t you become Christians?” they repeat Gandhi’s saying, “I will become a Christian when I meet one!” Let’s get serious about this reproach on our rank and file.
The Holy Spirit operates freely through those who are obedient and yielded to Him (Acts 5:32). Because of His gentle dove-like nature He does not instantly react to our disobedience to the will of God. He may let us continue operating His gifts of prophesy, healing and miracles. If we take these manifestations for granted, we are in for the most unpleasant surprise of our lives. By the time we would hear the verdict, “I never knew you; depart from Me,” it would be too late to reverse the situation (Mt 7:20-27). After serving this warning at the end of His great sermon, Yahushua compared the obedient to the wise, and the disobedient to the foolish.
Mere zeal is not enough to serve God acceptably. After healing a leper, Yahushua strictly warned him not to make his healing too public. But he went out and began to proclaim it freely. The result was that Yahushua could no longer openly enter the city (Mk 1:40-45). See how disobedience hinders God’s work.
Satan cannot disobey a man who cannot disobey God!