Obedience is a tough thing to learn, and we all probably learned it the same way Jesus did, by suffering a little. Already my little grandson Silas is learning those lessons. It’s difficult to learn because doing what you are told to do, even when you don’t want to, takes humility and self-control. That in turn takes maturity. And that is why an attitude of rebellion is so wrong. A person who refuses to toe the line, who seeks to always find a reason NOT to obey, and who questions authority simply because it IS authority is arrogant and self-willed. Period.
That sort of person would not have paid the temple tax as Jesus did. Of all people, He told the apostles, the Son does not have to pay, yet He sent Peter to find the shekel in the fish’s mouth to pay that tax “lest we cause [others] to stumble,” Matt 17:24-27.
He told the people to obey the scribes and Pharisees because “they sit on Moses’ seat,” even though those same men did not follow the very law they taught so rigorously, Matt 23:1-3. Others’ disobedience is no reason for yours, He seemed to be saying.
He purposefully made Himself subject to temptation, Matt 4, then overcame it.
He put up with hardheadedness, petty squabbles, and pride to teach the disciples so He could leave His church in the hands of good leaders.
He went to a cross He did not deserve, even though He really did not want to (“let this cup pass from me” and “thy will be done”). He did it because he was an obedient son.
Jesus would never have said, “You can’t tell me what to do.” He would never have fomented rebellion in the parking lot. He would never have planted seeds of doubt and discord among the weak and immature. Jesus learned obedience. If we are truly His disciples, isn’t it about time we did the same?
And hereby we know that we know him if we keep his commandments, He who says I know him and keeps not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps his word, in him truly has the love of God been perfected. Hereby we know that we are in him. He who says he abides in him himself also ought to walk as he walked, 1 John 2:3-6.