Listening also requires obedience to God. Jesus makes that clear. Taking sides with Jesus means much more than saying the right things, like the woman who cried, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You”. She was certainly sincere, but that was not enough. We take sides with Jesus the Messiah when we hear His Word and obey it. Jesus responds “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:27-29)
Obedience is a willingness to submit myself to the will of God and to put it into effect. Scripture emphasizes the necessity for the commandments of Jesus to be followed, gives examples and reasons, and describes the rewards.
There is a concept in being a slave. You only have one Master. Jesus is clear on this when he says you can’t be a slave to God and money (aka wealth). Jesus drives the point home in many places. Being a slave is different from being a servant.
Obedience is demanded of God’s people
Paul draws the connection to obedience in being a slave. Paul sees himself as a slave to Jesus. At the start of Romans, he declares “Paul, a slave of the Messiah Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the good news of God.”
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
- Luke 11:28 — 28 (NASB) But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
- James 1:22–24 — 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
- Ezekiel 33:32 — 32 “Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them.
- Matthew 7:24–27 — 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
- Romans 2:13 — 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified.