This is one of those passages that would probably make many people turn their heads if they really thought about it.
Jesus says to start off,
If you love me, you will obey what I command. (15)
Think about that a minute. If your husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend said to you, “If you love me, you will obey what I command,” what would your response be?
Most probably, “I’m outta here. Forget this relationship.”
I think there are certain things to keep in mind, however. First, Jesus is not only our Savior, but our Lord. Yet he’s not some tyrant looking to make our lives miserable just for his own pleasure. Rather, he genuinely loves us and is looking out for our good. More than that, he’s our creator, and he knows exactly how our lives were designed to work.
And so this idea of obedience is not so much a matter of, “Do what I say!” Rather, Jesus is telling us, “Trust me. If you really love me, trust me. I truly know what is best for you, and I truly want was is best for you.”
Our problem is that we’ve seen so many people trying to order us around not because they’re looking out for our best, but because they’re looking out for their own interests. And so when God tells us, “Trust me, I want what’s best for you,” we tend to look at him with a jaded eye.
This is not a new problem. It goes all the way to the garden of Eden. God told Adam and Eve, “Trust me, I want what’s best for you. So stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Believe me, you don’t want to know what evil is.”
But Satan caused Eve to become jaded to God’s intention. To start thinking, “God doesn’t really want what’s best for me. He’s holding something back from me.”
And to this day, people hold that same way thinking.
The other thing to remember is that our sin really hurts God. He is so pure, and righteous, he can’t even stand the sight of sin. Do we really want to do something that hurts him? Rather, wouldn’t we want to do things that please him?
If you love your wife or husband, for example, will you purposely do things that hurt them? “Yes, I know it will hurt them, but I’ll do it anyway.” Of course not.
Rather, we do things that we know will bring a smile to their faces.
And that’s what our relationship with God should look like. We love him so much that we do the things that please him, and we stay away from the things that we know will hurt him.
Jesus modeled this with his own life while he was on earth. He loved and trusted his Father so much, he always did what his Father said, even though it meant going to the cross. Why? Because he believed his Father knew what was best.
How about you? What does your relationship with God look like? Do you trust him enough to do what he says?