We once again want to look at the life of Jesus, particularly in relation to the holiness of His life. We will look at another aspect of His holiness: His total obedience to the will of the Father, whatever the cost. The more we look at the life of Jesus, the more we will understand how we are supposed to live on this earth, and our life would be perfectly peaceful and orderly.
Have you ever thought about the order that there is in the physical universe - the stars and the planets. They move about in the heavens in such perfect order that we can set our time accurately to the millionth of a second by them. They were moving around for thousands of years. And they never lost time, even a split‑second timing. You can predict where a particular star or a planet will be in one year, two years from now, on a particular date, at a particular time, because it never slows down, it never goes too fast, it moves in its orbit. It moves according to the speed which God has appointed for it. And that is why, when you look at the heavens, there is such a perfect order. No planet crashes into another. Everything moves about in perfect order. What is the secret?
The secret is they obey the will of God exactly . In those heavenly bodies, we have a message. You know the Bible says that though they do not speak, their voice goes around over the whole earth . What is the voice that comes to us from these heavenly bodies? It is basically this: 'We have a Creator,' that is what the stars and planets are saying, 'and we obey that Creator perfectly and we never have a problem. Everything goes smoothly for us day by day because we obey our Creator totally.' Have you heard that message? Do you believe it is true?
Why is there so much chaos, confusion, perhaps in your life, and certainly in the world? It is because of disobedience. The one Man who walked on this earth, who lived in perfect rest at all times in peace and in joy, whose life was in perfect order at all times, who was never disturbed by what other people did, or tried to do; the evil that people did, who did not bother about whether He had a following or no following, was Jesus Christ. And the secret of His life was the same as the secret of the planets. He obeyed the will of His Father in heaven exactly, completely, totally. Wherever there is obedience to God, there is perfection and beauty. And wherever there is disobedience to God, there is chaos and ugliness.
Do you think it is a burden for the stars and the planets to move in the orbits that God has appointed for them? Some are so far away from the sun that they are frozen throughout the year. Some planets are so close to the sun that they are burning hot throughout the year. None of them complain. They believe that they are in the place which God has appointed to them; absolutely the right place. Jesus' whole life was like that. He never had any desire to go to places that His Father never wanted Him to go. His whole life was a demonstration of this truth, that in this life and in the next life, godliness alone is most profitable. Of all the things there are, godliness is most profitable. No one can be happier, or more peaceful, or more content, than a godly man.
The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. When you fear God it is like having a fountain of life within you. The Bible exhorts us in Proverbs 23:17, "Live in the fear of the Lord the whole day long." Jesus lived in that fear. Sometimes we think that whatever Jesus did was because He was the Son of God; some things automatically happen for Him. But we read in Hebrews 5:8, "Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered." Why did He have to learn? We also read in the previous verse (Heb. 5:7), that He was heard not because He was the Son of God, but because of His piety; because He feared His Father. It was the fear of His heavenly Father that made His prayers to be heard. There is an example for us.
You know, in every area, Jesus was thinking of an example for us. The holier our life is, the more our prayers will be heard. Why does it say in the Bible, in James 5:17 onwards, that "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." Not anybody's prayer; it is the prayer of a righteous man! The godlier a man is, the more his prayers are heard. Why was Jesus' prayers heard? - Because He feared; because of His godly fear. Do you think that your prayers are heard no matter how you live? It is not true. David said in the Psalms, "If I regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." A godly life is the most profitable life that any man can ever live. You may face problems, but you will overcome them; every single one of them. If you have 1000 problems, you will overcome 1000. Not one will be left unsolved. You can overcome every single one of them, if you are godly, because God listens to the prayer of those who fear Him.
Let me tell you another result of being godly. The Bible says in Hebrews 1:9 that Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness. That means He was perpetually fresh with gladness and joy. Not because He was God's Son, but because He loved righteousness and hated sin. That is what that verse says. He was anointed with the oil of gladness above His companions. That means He had more joy and gladness in His life than all other believers, not because He was the Son of God but because He loved righteousness, and hated sin. That we can say for ourselves too. The more we love righteousness and the more we hate sin, the more the oil of gladness is going to overflow from our life. God can commit Himself only to a man who is upright morally. This is the secret of all spiritual authority. If you want to have authority in your life over Satan, over you circumstances, over your problems, seek after godliness. Keep your conscience absolutely clear, whatever your conscience convicts you about. Never mind what other Christians do. You follow your conscience and keep it absolutely clear. You will find spiritual authority coming in your life.
Now religious people in Jesus' time did not appreciate the holiness of Jesus. You know, one godly man can make a tremendous difference even in a city. There is a verse in Jeremiah 5:1, which says, 'If there was one godly man in Jerusalem at that time, the city would not have been captured by the Babylonians.' Isn't it a sad thing? Jerusalem could have been saved by one godly man, but there wasn't even one. Sodom could have been saved if there were ten godly people there, but there weren't ten. There may have been a thousand compromisers in Sodom and in Jerusalem, they couldn't help. What is God looking for - Numbers? No. He has never looked for numbers. One thousand compromisers cannot save a city, but one godly man can.
One would have thought that, Jesus living in Nazareth would have been such a tremendous blessing to the synagogue there. But when He went to speak in that synagogue, His very first message, they interrupted Him halfway. We read in Luke 4 that they took Him to the hill on which their city was built and wanted to throw Him down a cliff. What does this teach us? That even religious people do not appreciate genuine holiness. Even religious Christians do not appreciate a man who comes with a message of holiness, godliness, victory over sin, and obedience to God's commandments. Why did they hate Jesus so much? - Because He pointed out their sin, fearlessly. He pointed out their love of money. He pointed out their love of honour. He pointed out how they were seeking their own. He pointed out how they were interested just in their rituals and their traditions and keeping petty little rules, but they were not living in purity and compassion towards the needy. Therefore Jesus faced the hostility of people. He faced rejection, misunderstanding, opposition, hatred, criticism, rejection, ridicule, persecution, excommunication by all Jewish religious leaders. He was being warned about, being called bad names, and finally they killed Him, because He preached holiness.
So you see, the result of living a holy life is not that you are going to get a medal; you are probably going to be crucified. They would not have crucified Him if He had just lived a holy life and not bothered them. But His holiness was such that, it was a like a light that exposed the darkness in them and they were determined to silence Him. Jesus said it like this in John 3:19-20 ,"Their sentences are based on this fact that the light from heaven came into this world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their deed were evil. They hated the heavenly life because they wanted to sin in the darkness. They stayed away from that light for fear their sins would be exposed" (The Living Bible).
My dear friends, the Christian religious world of today is just the same. If you walk in real holiness, you won't get a medal. Instead, you will be hated, rejected, misunderstood, persecuted, and probably crucified. So, before you start following the Lord, do what Jesus says: Sit down and count the cost. It is worth it. Let us go forth to Jesus outside the camp bearing His reproach.