Good Servants Obey

““If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 NAS95)

Jesus makes the above point so many times and in so many ways in our passage (John 15.15-31), that even I, erstwhile Marine, get the point.  Here is what he says:

  • ““If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
    (John 14:15 NAS95)
  • ““He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me;”
    (John 14:21 NAS95)
  • “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;”
    (John 14:23 NAS95)
  • ““He who does not love Me does not keep My words;”
    (John 14:24 NAS95)
  • “So that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me.” (John 14:31 NAS95)

In case you missed it, dear reader, Jesus repeated three times that love and obedience are intimately connected.  Then he put it in the negative: “He who does not love Me does not keep my words.”  Then he used himself as an example: “I do exactly as the Father commanded me.”

I’m thinking that he really wants the disciples to get this point [and indeed, they really did get the point.  “But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.””(Acts 4:19–20 NAS95); and “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”(Acts 5:29 NAS95)

If one is saved by faith in Jesus finished work on the cross, why this emphasis on obedience.  We are not saved because of obedience.  What is the point?  Gerald Borchert helps us out in the New American Commentary:

“But keeping Jesus’ word is for John not a legalism. It is rather adopting a profound sense of obedient servanthood modeled on the servant pattern of the Son with the Father (John 5:19). Loving Jesus is therefore a commitment to the “way” of Jesus.”

The disciples and we who follow in their footsteps are obedient to what Jesus has commanded, not because it makes us look good, or makes us acceptable to God, but because we want to be good servants of our Master.  Good servants obey.

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