November 11

Written by Bill Grandi on November 11th, 2019

My title is Submission vs. Obstinance.

One of the dirtiest words in the English language is the word “submission.” Male or female that word “strikes a nerve.” “You want me to submit to him? You have got to be kidding!” “What do you mean I have to submit to the loser that is called my boss?” On and on our rebellion goes. And as I said-male or female-it is hard to accept.

That is what struck me as I read Luke 2 this morning. Following Mary & Joseph taking Jesus to the temple to be presented to the Lord, it says they returned to Nazareth. It ends with these words: “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.” (v.40). We would expect that. He was God’s Son after all.

Fast forward 12 years. (Some of the blank years in Jesus’ life). He and His parents go to the Feast of the Passover in Jerusalem. They leave believing Jesus is playing with His friends. A frantic search of 3 days finds Him in the temple, confounding and amazing the religious leaders with His understanding and answers. But here is the part that struck me after telling Mary & Joseph he had to be there: “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them.” (v.51)  I do wonder if there is a correlation between that verse and the following verse: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” 

Jesus, the Son of God, submissive? To earthly parents? Yes!! How baffling.  But then again, not so. When you think about it was not His whole life one of submission to His Father? Philippians 2 says He submitted by coming to earth as a baby. He surrendered to the greater agenda of His Father. He knew His Father’s plan was birth, death, resurrection -those three- and He willingly submitted.

Unlike me who struggles with submission. A more apropos word for me would be obstinance. Oh sure, I say “I submit” but do I really? Do I not have my own agenda that I am staunch about keeping? Katie bar the door if I should get out of whack.

“Father, submission to anyone, especially You, is not always easy. I’m more apt to get obstinate. To want things my own way. Help me to say “Your will be done” and mean it.”


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    Authority can be difficult to submit to… especially when faults are discovered. However, chaos would quickly ensue if authority was disregarded due to identified faults.

    Especially when I have a hard time submitting to God who has no faults.

    I second your prayer… “God’s will be done!” — and mean it!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You are right about authority being difficult to submit to. Maybe that explains why submitting to God’s authority is a lightning rod for me. I get struck a lot. 🙂

  2. Bill, I love how you’ve illustrated the necessity and importance of our own submission to God in this example of Jesus submitting to his earthly parents. It really brings it all into focus for me. And yes, submission isn’t easy – for me, it’s a daily exercise.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks Martha. I had never really thought of it before this morning even though I had read that passage many times. Just goes to show how often we keep learning.