Roger Casement had served as British Consul in Mozambique in the early 1900s. In that role he had seen the mistreatment of the locals by the Belgium governmental authorities who ruled there. His criticism of their policy of mistreatment led to an overhaul of Belgium’s administration there. When he retired he moved to Dublin where he had been born. There, he witnessed the same kind of mistreatment of his own people by the British government who ruled. He played some role in organizing an armed protest called the Dublin Rising in 1916 and was subsequently arrested, convicted, and hanged by Britain. He gave a speech after his conviction that expressed a great truth about love and loyalty. Can you see lessons regarding discipleship in this statement?
“Loyalty is a sentiment, not a law. It rests on Love, not on restraint. The government of Ireland by England rests on restraint and not on law; and, since it demands no love, it can evoke no loyalty.”
Jesus told his apostles, “If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). John wrote later on: “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world” (1 John 5:2-4a).
More than restraint due to law, Jesus is interested in your loyalty due to love. His life, death, and resurrection, though revealing his kingship was not intended primarily to motivate subjection because of the threat of condemnation. His life, death, and resurrection was intended to evoke you to love him, so that you would obey him with all your heart.
That’s Life at Work!