Many of you know that Jesus obeyed God, the Father. But most of you, perhaps, have not thought about the fact, that Jesus also obeyed man. I’ll tell you a bit more about that later.
You’ll hear a lot of people say, “We must obey God and not man.” But that is not what Jesus did. Jesus obeyed man and God. Both.
Why is this important?
Because lots of people, especially Protestants, claim that we have the right to disobey the authority which God put in place over our lives. To justify this attitude, they frequently turn to the Bible where it says:
Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
In that scene, Peter and the Apostles had been brought before the Sanhedrin and commanded to stop preaching in the name of Christ. But they refused. Because, “we ought to obey God rather than men”.
Yeah, that looks pretty plain.
Except for one point. When Jesus said:
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
He effectively supplanted the Sanhedrin with His Church. So, when the Apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin, the roles were reversed. God no longer spoke through the Sanhedrin. God now spoke through the Apostles. The Sanhedrin were judging the men whom God had put in authority over them.
They sit on Moses Seat
Remember that earlier in His ministry, Jesus commanded all men to obey the Pharisees. He said:
Matthew 23:23 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, 2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
This is not something which Jesus took lightly, as we shall see. Scripture says:
Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Caiaphas, the High Priest
But whom did He obey? We know that God sent the Son as an offering for our sins. But do you remember what the High Priest said, before Christ was crucified?
John 11:49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
Notice that he spoke, not of himself. In other words, since he was the high priest, that year, God spoke through him.
The Wisdom of God
God’s wisdom never ceases to astound me. God spoke through Caiaphas and thus, when Jesus was obedient unto death, He obeyed God AND man.
Obedience is of paramount importance
Jesus came to give us an example to follow.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
For most of us, the example wasn’t death upon the Cross. Nor even persecution and suffering for our faith. The example was obedience:
Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
So, no, don’t let people tell you that you are allowed to disobey the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church speaks for God and when you disobey the Catholic Church, you disobey God.
Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Obedience is one of the greatest sacrifices we can offer to God.