The Obedience of Jesus

You read doctrinal statements on church websites and the always append each point with many, many Bible verse quotations. I only say this because I can’t do that, my scriptural knowledge being fairly shallow and cursory.

I think the primary significance of Jesus is that he went first. To follow him is to listen to him and do what he says, but more essentially to do what he did.

The disadvantage that he had was that he didn’t know completely what would happen if he obeyed his father. He knew some things, but not everything, which we know because he said so himself.

He was obedient in receiving the spirit, in being tempted by Satan, but not succumbing, by showing his knowledge and power, and submitting to death. I don’t think he fully understood what he would experience with his death, although he knew it would be really, really bad. which is why he begged to avoid it. This made his obedience all the more glorious. I think he knew he would return to his father, but I don’t think he knew under what status, which also makes his obedience all the more glorious.

The result of his obedience was his transformation. This brings up the question, was Jesus always the same? This was a big question in the early church, some believing he did not always exist with God, but the viewpoint eventually prevailing was that he did.

The Mormon idea- which I think really can’t hold water- is that God, and Jesus both started out as human beings and became gods. This isn’t in the nature of a god, by definition. I think however that Jesus was transformed in some respect by his earthly mission, and if Jesus was transformed, then God was transformed to some extent.

In the Transfiguration, Peter, John, and James saw Jesus differently, but they still recognized him. After the resurrection, they did not recognize him.

If we follow the obedience Jesus showed to our father, we will receive the spirit, resist temptation, share out gifts with the world , and submit to the father’s will even if we are completely terrified. And I think if we do this, as Jesus did, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be transformed in the same kind of way.

Because Jesus did it first, we can do this knowing what the outcome will be. And for this confidence we can thank him.

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