to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 25, 2019 – Friday
John 17:6 NIV
6 “I have revealed You to those whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours; You gave them to Me and they have obeyed Your word.
The above occurs during Jesus’ prayer to His Father where He begins to pray for His disciples. He continues
7 Now they know that everything You have given Me comes from You. 8 For I gave them the words You gave Me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 All I have is Yours, and all You have is Mine. And glory has come to Me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by the power of Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are One. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name You gave Me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
Then He continues His prayer for an additional seven verses for His disciples followed by a prayer for all believers – including us!
Jesus says of His disciples they have obeyed Your word and as we know they did not do so perfectly. Here Guzik says One might say that Jesus generously judged His disciples; but He saw a genuine work of God in them. For all their failures and faults, they had kept God’s word. “He looked at them with the insight of faith, hope, and love, and realized their present devotion and their potential for the future.” (Bruce) Pett adds this about their obedience to God’s word as revealed by Jesus The idea is that they have believed them, treasured them and held them fast. They had also fully recognised Jesus’ uniqueness as God’s Son.
And Pett also shared this about the references to His Father’s revealed name: To them He has ‘openly revealed the Father’s name’. In Jewish thought the ‘name’ was seen as signifying the whole of what a person was. Thus when there was a great change in a person’s life they could be renamed. Consider for example Simon who became Cephas/Peter, and Saul who became Paul. Here then Jesus says He has made known to His disciples as far as was humanly possible the whole nature and being of God as expressed in His name.
I especially like what Matthew Poole’s Commentary had to say about these faithful disciples using the following paraphrase of Jesus’ words When I came and revealed Thy will unto them, they have not stubbornly and obstinately, as the generality of the Jews, shut their eyes against the light, and rebelled against Thy will revealed; but they have heard, received, embraced, and obeyed Thy word.
It is my wish, hope, and prayer that I would increasingly hear, receive, embrace, and obey God’s word. It is also my hope and prayer for others as well. I hope everyone has an opportunity to attend church this weekend and from what they hear and receive God’s word there, then embrace His word and obey His word.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)