What Manner of Man
(A weekly program for knowing and following Jesus Christ)
By Richard M. Eyre
WEEK 18: DEVOTION AND DEDICATION
It has been said that the difference between great and mediocre men is a cause. A cause lights the way, propels the mind, and gives color and scope to the otherwise selfish flatness of life.
The Savior’s cause, of course, defies comparison with that of any mere mortal, because his cause was the cause, the Father’s cause of bringing to pass “the immortality and eternal life of man.” His devotion to this cause began tin the pre-earth life and is total, complete, and perfect—and will be so for the rest of eternity.
Ponder the magnitude of that cause—mankind’s eternal life. Try to realize that giving of life is woven around and through all that we know of Jesus Christ. He created this earth, and helped to create the physical bodies we now inhabit, thus giving us mortal life, and sharing with us all the joyous forms of life that occupy his earth. He ransomed his perfect life for our imperfect ones, thus giving us immortal life through a universal resurrection. He gave us his gospel and he leads his church, thus giving us the path and the opportunity for eternal life. He gave us covenants, ordinances and commandments, and to those who come to know him more and more, his commands seem less and less like arbitrary restrictors and more and more like wise counsel from a loving father.
Examples of the Savior’s singular dedication to his Father’s cause (and his own cause) are everywhere in the scriptures: At age twelve, he was already concerned with his cause (see Luke 2:49). He reiterated timelessly his personal subservience to his cause and to his Father (see John 4:34, 12:26, 13:16) and the question of not fulfilling his commitment to the cause never occurred to him (John 18:11).
It was and is because of his own total-minded loyalty and single-minded priority that he could (and can) ask the same of us: seek first the kingdom. Don’t serve two masters. Be with me or you are against me (see Matthew 6:24, 6:33, 12:30). When the message didn’t penetrate, he said it more dramatically: sell all you have and follow me. Disregard even your parents for my sake (see Matthew 19:21, Luke 14:26).
When Christ was praised or complimented, he either transferred that praise to his Father or he used it as a chance to teach us his devotion by promising that we would be blessed if we would keep God’s word as he has (see Luke 11:27-28).