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Adoration and obedience

Sunday, April 2, 2006

John 12:25-33

Jesus speaks:

"The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!

"Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself."

In today's epistle the author of Hebrews writes, "Jesus learned obedience from what he suffered" (Heb 5:8). His prayer is not "Save me from this pain, release me from this terror, rescue me!" He doesn't ask God to change his circumstances. He doesn't ask God to make things better for him.

Jesus' prayer puts mine to shame. What he prays isn't about himself at all! "Father, glorify your name." Father, your will be done on earth, in my life, in these circumstances. I am in pain and trouble, near death. But what matters to me is only what matters to you.

Thus Jesus accepts it all. There is no resignation and no despair in his surrender, but only the joy of being one with his Father. Their oneness starts with single-mindedness, and builds and builds with each physical act of Jesus' obedience.

What his Father offered Jesus, Jesus now offers us. Jesus is "the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him" (Heb 5:9).

If you'll let me, Jesus says, I'll make your life what I want it to be. I'll guide every step you take. Don't think about it too much, don't belabor decisions, just do what comes next. I'll be there, I'll be ahead of you, I'll be sure you aren't left behind.

All you have to do is obey.

Jesus, put a hop in my step as I run to follow you. Free me from indecision and let me know your hand in mine.

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