Then His brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)
Is it true that one does not necessarily need to obey the Scriptures, but to simply be willing to do God’s will? “You don’t really have to give up all your possessions,”1 they say, “you just have to be willing to do so if God should require it of you.” But really, who in the Church is going to have the authority to tell you that God wants you to surrender all your possessions? Yahshua’s commandments would seem downright cultish in today’s world.
Hardly anyone realizes that God has a purpose, and within that purpose, certain objectives. He has even made certain promises that have yet to be fulfilled. His will is the means to the end that His purpose would be fulfilled on the earth, in this age and continue throughout eternity. So for one to say he is willing to do God’s will, without actually doing it, shows that he either has no vision for God’s purpose to actually be accomplished, or that he doesn’t really believe that it makes any difference to God what he does or doesn’t do.
But the word does in Mark 3:35 is the means by which an object is obtained, a cause devoted to producing and bringing forth something which is essential. It is not enough to be simply willing, for it is only those who do His will who will bring about the restoration of all things in this age,2 which will herald the return of Yahshua to set up His Kingdom on the earth,3 which will bring about the restoration of all things in the next age,4 which will lead into God’s eternal purpose to spread life to the ends of the ever-expanding universe.5
So you can see that one thing leads to another. But it all starts with God finding someone who will do His will. He’s found a few down through history, but the prophets have made it clear that His purpose will be accomplished by a holy nation of twelve tribes, called Israel.6 So that little word “does” is pretty important.
If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. (John 7:17, NKJV)
Many of the watered-down Bible translations of our day translate this verse, “If any man is willing...” which doesn’t convey the same sense of resolve. The one who is truly willing will execute God’s will. The King James Bible says it even more plainly, “If any man will do his will...” Only those who have that kind of true inner resolve to act on what they hear will recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd when He calls them to do His will.7 Such a man was David, the King of Israel.
And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” (Acts 13:22)
Once one truly understands the gospel, by revelation,8 it takes obedience to do what it takes to become His follower,9 so as to walk as He walked.10
After His resurrection, Yahshua commissioned the apostles to make disciples, teaching them to obey all He commanded them.11 This was explained at great length by Peter and the other disciples on the day of Pentecost to those who were pierced to the heart, when they cried, “What must we do to be saved?”12 With many other words he testified and exhorted them, explaining how they could “be saved from this perverse generation.”13 The spiritual reality is that they were hearing first hand, face to face, from the Author of the gospel what one must do to inherit eternal life.14
Those who received their word “gladly”15 were like the man seeking fine pearls, who, upon finding one of surpassing value, sold all he had to secure that pearl.16 That Pearl is our Master Yahshua. This is the essence of the good news, which one must receive and obey to have eternal life.17 The response at Pentecost was in sharp contrast to the Rich Young Ruler, who upon hearing the gospel, which demanded forsaking all he had, went away sad.18 To obey the gospel is to follow Yahshua, which the Rich Young Ruler would not do. So, though he asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” was he willing to do His will?
So are you willing to do His will? How can you know? The book of First John was written to a church that was falling away from keeping the greatest commandments — to love Him with all of their heart, soul, and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves.19 Somehow, doctrinal knowledge was beginning to take precedence over simple obedience and love. Yet, Yahshua Himself said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”20 So First John is the litmus test to see whether we truly believe unto salvation:
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:3-11)
So, judge yourself. You have to be a liar, or be saved — one or the other.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:12,13 KJV)
Reading the book of First John will either confirm that we indeed have the Son, and that we have passed from death to life, or we can now do what is necessary to receive the free gift of eternal life.