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From the Bishop
      April 27, 2017

Trust and Obey

The following excerpt is adapted from Bishop Iker’s book, Consider Your Call, Brethren.


 

Trust and obey,
for there’s no other way,
to be happy with Jesus,
but to trust and obey.
-John Sammis

These words from an old Gospel hymn came to mind as I read today’s lesson from St. John’s Gospel, a portion of the “Farewell Discourse” of Jesus in chapters 13-17. The scene is the Upper Room, on the night of the betrayal, after the Last Supper. Jesus is trying to prepare His disciples for what is about to take place. We can only imagine how confused and apprehensive they must have been. Jesus said: “Where I am going you cannot follow not follow me now … If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you … In a little while, you will see me no longer.”

They must have been fearful and perplexed. Where was he going? Why could they not go too? What was to become of them after He was gone?

So in these three or four chapters, Jesus teaches them the importance of trust and obedience. They are two ageless principles of discipleship, expressed so well in the refrain of that old Gospel hymn: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way” to be a Christian.

In our discipleship of witness and service, the important thing is not what we know, it is Who we know. Bishop Robert Terwilliger was fond of saying: “It is not enough to know all about Jesus, let alone what others know about Him. We must know Jesus!” And furthermore, we must learn to convey that personal knowledge of the Lord to others. More than head knowledge, it is heart knowledge that really counts, that makes a difference.

Notice that as Jesus calls us to trust Him and obey Him, He gives us two great promises to make it possible: the gift of the Counselor, and the gift of His peace. Without these two gifts, those first disciples could never have remained faithful, nor could the Church have ever survived to the present time. The central factor in how we are to trust and obey Jesus is the gift of the Holy Spirit and the peace that comes from receiving Him.