When Jesus allowed Himself to be betrayed without escaping….When Jesus didn’t call in the angelic troops to stop the High Priest’s armies…When Jesus didn’t offer a stunning defense of the fallacy of the charges to Pilate…When Jesus didn’t show the perform a miracle to stop the crowd from demanding his death….He submitted to God’s higher plan for all of mankind.
There’s a lot of Christians today who have a faith in God without truly surrendering to all of God’s precepts in the Bible. The belief is that there’s an individualized plan in which each person agrees to do the parts they like. It’s sort of like faith without obedience to the traditional ways. Perhaps it could be summarized as faith with partial obedience. In these people’s minds, they decide that they know better than outdated church doctrine. They often compare themselves to the general population and see themselves as more knowledgeable about religion or better than the average person behaviorally. These are the “generally good” people. Further, there are a lot of churches that will defend these beliefs, and welcome these believers.
Another camp agrees to obey, but requires the logic behind the request to be clear before they’re on board. This becomes a “prove-it-to-me” type of faith that doesn’t want to be duped. If they can determine the “why” of something, then they wrestle the argument down to the finer points. Their personal reasons may supersede the need to follow the exact letter of the law.
Obedience without understanding requires faith. Faith increases when we obey God without knowledge in advance of what the benefit is. Simply complying with scripture tests our obedience levels. I usually do not know in advance what the benefits are to fasting. It’s after fasting that I learn what God wants to say to me, or what He is strengthening me to do. Sometimes it’s after multiple days of fasting that we see the shift in circumstances, or get the desired breakthrough.
Jesus demonstrated obedience by love. Jesus submitted to God’s plan at every level, overcoming the human reaction to what the divine part of Him knew was about to unfold. No other person saw the redemption plan for mankind in advance. God knew. God asked. Jesus showed us obedience based on love. He loved God by fulfilling His (Jesus’) part of mankind’s salvation. He loved people in advance of his choice not knowing what each person would decide. He focused on the joy of the people who would ask for forgiveness of their sins and choose to be with Him in eternity. Jesus offers a costly love.