Still, they rankle when told what to do, even kindly-intentioned advice. All rules are for others, not them. And conscientiousness is only for wimps. When people like this become Christians, if that attitude does not become "Thy will be done," and "Each counting other as better than himself," they will cause trouble wherever they go. They willfully forget this: Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. (Heb 5:8).
Jesus, the Son of God, the Creator of the Universe, learned to obey. As someone recently told me, I am probably the least qualified person out there to exegete a passage theologically, but this one seems to say that someone did, and indeed could, tell Jesus what to do. Let's see if we can learn anything from the humble obedience of our Lord.
1. Jesus paid the Temple tax, even though he, of all people, should not have had to (Matt 17:24-27). Peter had assumed the Lord would pay the tax just like everyone else. It was part of the Law. First Jesus patiently instructed Peter about why he was not obligated to pay, but then told him he would, "so as not to give offense." I have seen too many Christians claiming their rights when concern for others' souls should have caused some discretion. Humility does what it doesn't necessarily have to do for the sake of others.
2. Jesus told the people to obey the Pharisees even though they were hypocrites (Matt 23:1). I have seen Christians go out of their way not to listen to people they disagreed with, even if those people were right according to Scripture. In fact, I have seen them change their minds just so they wouldn't be on the same "side." Truth is the only side we should be on. If that means we are obeying elders or preachers or Bible class teachers who are scripturally correct about that particular thing, even though we might disagree with them about something else, then so be it. To do otherwise is to disobey God, not men.
3. Jesus allowed himself to be led by the Spirit to be tempted (Matt 4:1). He obeyed this direction of the Spirit for us, so show us how to meet temptation and to prove that it can be done. How many trials and temptations would we willingly take on for someone else? It's all most people can do to serve when it's pleasant and convenient, much less uncomfortable and even dangerous.
4. Jesus put up with a group of hard-headed, obtuse, petty, arrogant men, just so he could leave this world with qualified leaders for his church (Matt 16:18, 17:17, etc). That church was part of God's plan from the beginning (Eph 3:8-12), so it had to be done. These were the 12 best he could find, yet still it was a struggle, and not all of them made it despite his work, worry, sweat, and tears. But Jesus did it because it was the Father's plan. And he puts up with us for the same reason.
5. Jesus went to the cross, even though he was sinless and did not deserve it, because it was God's will ("Let this cup pass…but Thy will be done"). "This is not fair," would have come out of my mouth. How about yours? And if he thought it, he never said it, and certainly did not act on it. He obeyed to the point of death—for us.
Now, what was that about no one telling me what to do?
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15).