One aspect of the life and ministry of Jesus that the Gospel of John keeps returning to is His obedience to the Father in all that He says and does. Jesus makes it quite clear to His disciples that obedience to the will of God is of paramount importance. The life of a disciple is lacking one of its most important constituents if obedience is lacking.

One of the reasons that Jesus gives us for His obedience to the Father is that it demonstrates His love for the Father. The fundamental sin of disobedience in the Garden of Eden indicates a lack of filial love. Jesus wants to demonstrate the type of love that Adam and Eve should have displayed for God in the Garden of Eden. This love is the love of filial obedience – the love that a child has for his or her parents. It is a love that ultimately finds it impossible not to be obedient as to disobey would wound the love between the parent and child in such a grievous manner that the child will not even seriously contemplate such an action!

It is this serious nature of sin against filial love that ought to inspire us to obedience to God’s will. It is not just the fear of harming that love that inspires, but also the very nature of the filial love itself in that it is the expression of the love a child has for his or her parents. God does not want to be, nor is He, a distant God, divorced from the everyday affairs of our lives. He desires to express His love for us in the way of parents to their children.

When we aware of such depth in God’s love for us it is only right that we, ourselves, be inspired to respond in a like a manner. The role of our love as response to God’s love indicates that it takes on a different form. This form is expressed in our obedience to His will. We choose to seek to align our wills with that of God’s will for our lives because we know that this is the perfect way of love and will ultimately serve us best.

How do I understand the call to be obedient to the will of God? Do I see it as something I have to endure? Or is it something I embrace with joy and freedom in the knowledge that it is the best way to both experience and respond to God’s love for me?

Jesus, you are the Way, the Truth and the Life. The example that you set here on earth is the paradigm for my life. Help me to be open to the knowledge that the way of obedience to the Father’s will is, indeed, the only path to eternal life.