Obeying Christ's Orders
Sermon by Milligan
Mother Mary said unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. Just do it!
It does not need a strong imagination to picture Mary, probably at that time the widowed mother of our Lord. She is full of love and of a naturally kind, sympathetic disposition. She is at a marriage; and she is very pleased that her son is there with the first handful of his disciples. Being there has made a greater demand upon the provisions than was expected, and the supply is running short. So she, with an anxiety that was natural to such a mother of her years and of her gentle spirit, thinks that she will speak to her son and tell him that there is a want. So she says to him, “They have no wine.” But my Jesus, who is like no other said unto her, “Woman, what have I to do with thee, mine hour is not yet come.” But his mother, not accepting “no” for an answer said to the servants, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” Just do it.
In other words Jesus is saying. Woman, what have I to do with thee in such a matter as this? I am not thy son as a miracle worker. I cannot work to please thee. No, if I work a miracle as the Son of God, it cannot be as your son. It must be in another character. I must work it as the Son of God! And he gives his reason: Mine hour is not yet come.
It was a gentle rebuke, absolutely needful from the prescience of all that would follow. You can easily picture how Mary took it. She knew Christ’s gentleness, his infinite love; how for 30 years there had never come anything from him that grieved her spirit. So, she drank in the reproof, and gently shrank back, thinking much more than she said, for she was always a woman who kept things on the pillar of her heart. Church, let us just feel that whatever Jesus does, whatever he saith is right, and let us in silence possess ourselves in his presence.
(Read vs. 6-10)
Now, I want try to teach a lesson to myself and to you. I think that our own experiences goes to show us that our highest wisdom, our very best prosperity will lie in: 1) Us cautiously keeping behind Christ and never running before him, 2) Never forcing his hand, 3) Never tempting him as they did not tempt God in the wilderness, and 4) Prescribing to him to do this or that, but in holy, humble obedience, taking these words as our life motto, henceforth, “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” I will handle my text in this way; First, What? Secondly, Why? Thirdly, What Then?
I. What Is It That We Are Here Bidden To Do?
In a word, it is to obey. That obedience, in the first place would be a prepared obedience. Mary came to get their minds ready to do what Christ should bid them. No man will obey Christ all of a sudden, and keep on doing so. There must be a weighing – a considering. There must be a thoughtful, careful knowledge of what his will is, and a preparedness of heart, a counting the cost. Jesus said something in Luke 14:28.
Read vs. 26-33
(A prepared obedience) Prepare you minds to receive the word of God.
II. And then there is a Practical Obedience.
Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it! Do not spend a lot of time thinking about it. Jesus said it; I believe it, that settles it. One of the great evils of the times is that of deliberately procrastinating about a plain command of my Lord, and asking what will be the result of it. What have you to do with that? That’s God’s business! At any expense, at any risk, do it. You are Christ’s servants, his saved ones, and now you have come to the holy discipline of his house, and this is the rule of it. “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it!”
III. Now For A Moment Or Two, Why Is This To Be Done?
First, Christ is by nature worthy of obedience. I count it an honor to serve Christ. Oh, what is he? Perfect man, rising nobly above us all; perfect God, infinitely majestic in his two natures. He’s worthy.
David said “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable” (Psm. 145:3)
He said in psalm 63, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirstieth for thee; my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is. … To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” (Psm. 63)
David said, from the rising of the sun, unto the going down of the same, He’s worthy to be praised.
Why should I obey him?
A. Christ is my only hope
All of our prospects for the future depend upon him. Glory be to his blessed name. There is none like him.
“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ the Solid Rock I stand …”
Rom. 5:5 – “And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.”
Rom. 15:4 – “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scripture might have hope.”
III. Let me conclude with answering the question: What will follow from this obedience?
A. The first thing is that you will feel free from responsibility. The servant, who has done what his master has bidden him, is at ease and free from responsibility. I did what I was bidden to do. Now beloved, if you want to get rid of the whole burden of life, by faith do whatsoever Christ commands you.
B. Then, you will feel a sweet flow of love to Christ. You cannot walk contrary to Christ, and yet enjoy fellowship with him; and the more dear and near he would be to you. So much the wider does the gaps seem to be when you are not doing his will. (Matt. 7:2) Not everyone that said unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Obeying Christ’s Orders
And lastly I believe that learning to obey is one of the preparative for the enjoyments of Heaven. Why, in Heaven, they have no will, but God’s will; and if you and I do not learn here below what obedience to God is, practice it, and carry it out; how could we hope to be happy in the midst of obedient spirits? You would be so unhappy there that you would ask God to let you run into hell for shelter; for nothing would strike you with more horror than to be in the midst of perfectly holy people who find their delight in the service of my God.
It is not Mary, who speaks to you, but it is the Lord, and he’s saying, “Whatever I say unto you, do it!” And if you will do it, he will turn your water into wine. He will make your love more glad and happy than it ever would have been without obeying him. And he will provide for you. Obey him, and he will comfort you. Obey him and he will perfect you. Be with him in the way of duty, and you shall be with him in the home of glory.