Blog & Pastor Letters

Abraham, Jesus and Obedience to God’s Will

02-28-2021Weekly ReflectionRev. Victor C. Yakubu

A lawless society is a cancer to human civilization. During the Stone Age man lived in caves and hunted with spears and arrows with fear ruling the scene. Today, in many spheres of human life, man has progressed tremendously so fear can be replaced with freedom. The reason is that obedience to civil laws is as important as obedience to religious laws to set our lives in an orderly way without hurting us or those in our trust.

God tested Abraham, our father in faith, to see how Abraham would approach the issue. God wanted Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. Without asking many questions, Abraham set out to do exactly as God commanded him. At the end of the day, God saw the sincerity of Abraham and told him to spare his son Isaac. God blessed Abraham saying, “I will bless you abundantly and make your descendants as countless as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore; your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies, and in your descendants all the nations of the earth shall find blessing – all this because you obeyed my command.” It is amazing to notice how God changed his mind simply because of the obedience of Abraham.

We notice the same attitude when Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. He decided to ascend the “high mountain” in Israel, possibly identified as Mount Tabor, to pray. His disciples Peter, James and John were with him. As he prayed, his clothes became dazzlingly white. Peter moved by God’s spirit impulsively said, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” Suddenly a cloud came over them and a voice was heard from heaven, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” After the voice, everything around them became normal.

It is said that Jesus ascended this mountain to seek the assurance of the Father in His mission to Jerusalem. The Father affirmed his mission by a vision of Moses and Elijah, two great men in the history of Israel.

Moses as we know was the lawgiver, while Elijah fought against the prophets of Baal and won. In this case, Jesus is about to win our salvation for us by his total obedience to God through his sacrifice on the Cross. Unlike Isaac, God allowed Jesus to undergo the Cross to fix us on a new path to heaven. St. Paul says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Nobody else! God did not spare Jesus the humiliation of the Cross because a great gift awaited all of us. Obedience to the Father makes us receive God’s unrivalled blessings.

Anytime I drive into town, I am careful to obey traffic laws especially at the lights and intersections. The police are watching unseen by many motorists and their presence can be intimidating. But it is an assurance of the presence of the law for everybody’s safety. If we strive to obey traffic laws, why must we shy away from obeying God’s eternal laws? The sin against the road is not obeying any traffic rule. Pope Francis’ message at this Lenten season is that we should be like Christ who became poor so that we might be rich. Abraham obeyed God and he was blessed as the father of many nations. His faith has shown us that the perfect sacrifice is in giving completely to God. The result of obedience is immense joy that knows no bounds knowing that God rewards the simple-hearted. St. Paul says when God has acquitted you nobody has the power to charge you again. Meditate on world affairs and see where cancer can be in our human civilization. Freedom means obeying rules not destroying lives. Keep praying!