The Priority of Obedience
23 Jesus said, “The one who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love him. We will come to him and live with him. 24 The one who does not love Me does not obey My teaching. The teaching you are now hearing is not My teaching but it is from My Father Who sent Me.25 “I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26 The Helper is the Holy Spirit. The Father will send Him in My place. He will teach you everything and help you remember everything I have told you.
The Creator gave two commands to Adam and Eve—first, to fill the earth and rule over it, and second, not to eat from a certain tree in the Garden (Gen. 1:28; 2:17). Because they chose to disobey, their relationship with God was broken, and they had to leave Eden.
The first couple’s rebellion not only impacted their own lives but also had far broader implications: all future generations have suffered. In Romans 5:12-19, the apostle Paul explained the reason. Through the trespass of one man, Adam, sin made its entrance into the world, and death resulted for all mankind. Because Adam was head of the human race, his actions affected everyone born after him. His disobedience resulted in each of us having a bent away from the Lord and a desire for self-rule.
By contrast, Jesus made conformity to the Lord’s will the priority of His life. He obeyed God in both word and deed (John 8:28-29). Having lived a perfect life—one entirely without sin—He qualified to be our Savior (2 Cor. 5:21). Through the death of one man, Christ Jesus, payment was made for the transgressions of all mankind. God’s acceptance of the Son’s sacrifice brought us forgiveness and freedom from sin’s power.
Adam’s disobedience brought judgment and death upon us, whereas Jesus’ obedience resulted in new life for all who believe in Him (Rom. 6:4). Our Savior calls us to deny selfish desires, live sacrificially, and follow Him (Matt. 16:24). A godly life will bring Jesus honor and influence others for Him.
For His Glory