to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 17, 2019 – Thursday
Luke 11:27-28 NIV
27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Three initial reactions upon reading the two verses above. First, what were the things Jesus was saying? Next, why didn’t Jesus agree His mother was blessed? Last, if I hear the word of God and obey it I am blessed! So let’s look at all three of these.
What was Jesus saying? He had just finished stating a great truth in the prior three verses.
24 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”
Jesus’ point being we may be able to clean up our act on our own temporarily, but only temporarily. And our final condition, if we do not turn to God, we will not be able to defend ourselves against the forces of Satan. We often see this in the lives of people around us who clean up from drugs or alcohol, but without God they end up going downhill once again.
Jesus did not in fact disagree with the woman who said Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you, but she was not as blessed as she might be or become. Peter Pett’s commentary states She has not as yet entered under the Kingly Rule of God by response to the King. Were Jesus to return home He would not find it ‘cleansed and put in order’. He would find it still under the old regime. Jesus does not deny to her limited blessing. He simply points out that as yet she has not received the true blessing.
However, I believe His mother is included in the next statement from Jesus because she had heard from God and obeyed. Thus when Jesus said Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it He was stating the real cause of His mother’s blessings. Or as David Guzik states it Jesus pointed out the greater and more important connection between Himself and those who hear the word of God and keep it. This is a more blessed and important relationship to Jesus than even being the mother who bore Him.
The bottom line is hearing and listening to God and then obeying what one has heard is what is required. It is one coin with two sides. On the one side we listen and hear what God has to say and on the other side we obey what we have heard, we put His words into action in our lives. The number one way we do this is by accepting the free offer of Grace.
Know that God knows when we have heard Him, either with our ears or reading His word, and He also knows if we are truly obeying Him or just giving him lip service, not really putting His words into action in our lives.
(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)