Luke 11:1-54, Isaiah 55:6-7, Romans 8:14-17
“Easier said than done.” It’s a common enough expression these days, perhaps one that you’ve found yourself mumbling a few times as recently as just this week, whether at you’re at home, at work, or even at your gym. Regardless of the location, we’re all familiar with the sentiment; giving lip service to something is always easier than actually giving it life service.
When reading Luke chapter 11, I’ve always found Jesus’s response to the woman in the crowd a bit curious. She gives a shout-out to His mother, Mary, and in turn, Jesus seems to give her a hard time. Instead of offering agreement, Jesus seems to toss out a bit of a zinger: “Do you even know how to follow the Word of God?” (v.28, my paraphrase).
Honestly, I began to think that Jesus’s response was bit of a non-sequitur. The woman points out something over here, and He speaks to something over there—almost as if He’s speaking an aside, talking beyond their encounter. But Jesus was not ignoring the woman or teaching above her understanding. Rather, He was using her declaration as a teachable moment, giving the perfectly tailored, most loving response to her statement. She declares, “Blessed is the womb that bore you,” and essentially, He counters with, “Blessing doesn’t come from being my mom. Instead, it comes from following the Word of God” (again, my paraphrase).
In other words, yes, Mary preformed a special role as the mother of Jesus. But we, too, can all walk in blessed intimacy and relationship with God because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. He invites and enables us to not only be hearers of the Word, but doers (James 1:22).
Certainly, there is an emphasis on faithfulness in the doing. If God has placed something on your heart, and the Scriptures confirm it, make sure you do it! But there is also an emphasis on the blessedness; it is possible for each of us to experience a blessed life in God this side of eternity.
The Word of God is easier read than done. But our job is to commit ourselves wholeheartedly to the doing, as an outpouring of our belief and trust in Jesus Christ. If you’ve come to trust and know Him, your eternity lies in His hands, but He still invites you to participate in His blessing now. Relationship with Jesus does not guarantee a safe, easy life—quite the opposite, really (John 16:33)—but it does mean that we get to participate in the kingdom as it invades this world here and now.
Hopefully, Jesus’ declaration feels like more of an invitation to you than an obligation. If the Word requires something of you that you’re not doing, pray for the courage to do it! If the Word requires you to leave something behind, pray for the perseverance to leave it! That is the intersection of obedience and blessing.
Written by Andrew Stoddard