The shepherds, the wise men, the kings.......this time of year we are centering-in on biblical figures. We think about them, put up images of them standing or kneeling beside Jesus, and we even send cards with pictures of them on it. But today I am thinking of a different group of individuals. Today I am thinking about the disciples.
While reading my Bible I began to notice some things about them and I would write them on a slip of green paper and keep it to mark where I was reading to gather more "finds" about them as I read. Hmmmmmm........interesting. Now we all know that the LORD chose these men, each and every one of them. He called them out of various professions, each with varied personalities and amounts of smarts too. We all at one time or another, in Christian service, have taken note of these men and after looking at their stature realize that we too can be of use when called by God Himself. These were not perfect men by any means as we are not, but were greatly used, as we too can be.
So let's take note of 4 things I have recently learned from the 12 whom God chose:
1. Sometimes they were afraid to ask Jesus something when they didn't understand. Mark 9:32-"But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him."
Wow. Ever been there? Knowing all you know about the nature of God, have you ever not understood Him, and His ways, yet been afraid to ask Him something?
2. Sometimes they struggled with pride. Mark 9:34- "But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest."
Hmmm....ever been THERE? Pride welling up inside over a job well-done, seeking some praise or recognition for it????
3. Sometimes they actually turned people AWAY from the Lord! Mark 10 13- " And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them."
How often has our attitude been wrong in front of others, and we discourage someone from coming to the Lord??
4. Sometimes they lacked needed compassion for others....even wishing them harm. Luke 9:54- "And they did not receive him, because his face was as thought he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
Shocking, isn't it... that those closest to Jesus, who walked, talked, gleaned from Him daily would be thus? Or is it??? We walk and talk with Him. We glean from His teachings just as they did, and many times we find ourselves spiteful at people looking past their souls to the very sin they struggle with. This Christmas season don't mumble under your breath when the cashier tells you "Happy Holidays," instead of "Merry Christmas." She sees your button that blinks "Keep Christ in Christmas." Let that be a testimony to her and let your sweet spirit be the icing on the cake. Stop bumbling through crowds of people only wondering if they took the last sweater or gift YOU were looking for, and for pitty's sake don't turn your nose up at the bell ringers at Walmart because they are not our "Stripe." Shame on us. Learn from the disciples, they made mistakes just like we do.....daily.