“Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.”
Mark 16:14 (NKJV)
How many of you today understand that God is not in the business of trying to help you cover up your character defects? I actually hope its all of you, I don’t wanna be the only one in Christendom that God is picking on. Just kidding, I know He ain’t picking on me (and I know He doesn’t do that), He’s just showing me that my defects of character are the weakness’ He’ll use to show His strength through me. Also, I’m really thankful that God already knows that I ain’t “SUPER HOLY” and I have a hard time with His teachings every now and again (maybe that should read “all the time” and “not again” but I digress).
And it wasn’t unusual for the disciples of Jesus to have a hard time with His teachings either. I mean, He picks 12 misfits to train up to do Great Commission work in a time period where our adversary uses the iron fist of Rome to crush everyday living and to cause spiritual confusion among Jew and Gentile alike. It’s a wonder to me that we folks here in the 21st century are even privileged that we get this opportunity at all. Everything coulda ended with The Flood and none of us would have known about YHVH…ever. But back to the trouble with the disciples and being a disciple…
One of the first thing that’s a problem with us disciples is the lack of spiritual understanding. When Jesus does nothing but teach in parables what’s a guy like Peter to do except to request that Jesus, “Explain this parable to us.” (Matthew 15:15b) And for the next few verses Jesus will do that, but not without asking, “Are you also still without understanding?” (Matthew 15:16b) Jesus’ remedy for our lack of understanding is to continue teaching us like He did with the disciples (see Acts 1:3).
How about our lack of humility? Now I’m not saying that we should wear sackcloth and ashes to exhibit an example of humility but that we should think of ourselves less. Once again, it’ll be Jesus that gives an example, “And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” (Luke 9:47-48)
Our struggle with daily faith can be an issue. Sure, we have faith of a mustard seed when it comes to moving the mountains but sometimes with daily needs, we tend to make a mountain outta a pile of laundry, “Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30) A few verses later we’re told to seek the kingdom of God and its righteousness and those daily concerns will be added to you.
In John 17 Jesus will intercede on behalf of His disciples. Jesus knew that a lack of commitment could befall any one of His Talmidim, it was written ahead of His arrival, “Says the LORD of hosts, Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered.” (Zech 13:7) So Jesus will do what Jesus does and fulfill what’s in Scripture…isn’t it good to know that Jesus has interceded on your behalf because sometimes your commitment gets a little iffy?
And finally, for today I’ll ask this…ever feel like your prayers hit the ceiling and land back at you? Maybe because it’s because of a lack of power. The disciples experienced this in Matthew 17:14-20 and Jesus brings up that mustard seed I talked about earlier. This is why the Holy Spirit was sent so that this group of misfits could be a witness of Jesus Christ throughout all of Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth.
So, if you’re wondering why Jesus would have chosen you to be His 21st century disciple, just ponder on this…He has chosen the foolish to shame the wise, the weak things to shame the mighty, has given you His grace, because it is sufficient for you, His strength is made perfect in your weakness. “Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)
Good stuff to mediate on. Seems like Jesus is the remedy for the trouble with disciples. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if He were you.” – Dallas Willard
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