The Standard of Obedience, not the Standard of Knowledge

6:50 AM Good morning, friends. You won’t believe this: A blog post called Jesus – A Practicing Socialist. I feel positively giggly. This is the message I’ve been trying to get across to my students for years. Note this paragraph:

But that is not what Christ is saying in the Great Commission. Jesus commands us to teach believers to observe – or DO – what He has commanded us to do. That is profoundly different than saying teach the great doctrines of the faith. The words “observe” and “command” indicate something much greater than just learning truths. They indicate a doing and an obedience to the commands of Jesus, not just a learning of what He said and what He taught. If knowing all the core doctrines of the faith is the indispensable element of being a disciple, then there were not many disciples until recently since millions of believers were illiterate and perhaps millions still are today. And none of His commands had anything to do with enhancing and elevating our own lives.

Our world is in desperate need of this kind of obedience. We know all too well that orthodoxy without orthopraxy is a gross evil. There is deep wisdom in Jesus’ words in the Great Commission: “observe,” “command.” Not that such obedience is easy. Jesus never promised that discipleship would be a piece of cake. He has called us to littleness, to die to our ambitions so that others might believe and live, to infect this dark world with His love. And the people who are changing the world today are the risk-takers who, like Epaphroditus, are willing to gamble away their loves for the sake of the Gospel.