The last several weeks have been spent reading the parables of Jesus and also looking at the behavior of the disciples. The disciples were an eclectic group. Most were not well educated nor admired. They were simple fisherman, or tradesmen, who labored hard each day. And yet Jesus hand-picked them, calling each one to leave all and follow Him.
At times their faith failed them. They questioned Him, and often made bold declarations which they did not follow through on. Jesus rebuked them, disciplined them, and called them out on the times they doubted.
They fell asleep during prayer time. One was swift with his words and swifter with his sword, cutting off the ear of a soldier in Jesus’ defense. Two lobbied for a seat of greatness at His table. Some wanted to call down fire on the unbelieving. One needed to touch Jesus’ scars to have his faith restored. If living today, they may have been fired on the spot.
They were far from perfect but when empowered by the Holy Spirit, they turned the world upside down as they declared the message of Jesus.
As I look at them, I see myself. Imperfect. Doubting. Failing. And maybe, just maybe, used by Him to leave an example for my family.
This walk of faith does not come easily. The challenges of life can be daunting at times. But as I look at these first believers, I find myself filled with hope.
Perhaps even in my imperfect and stumbling walk, they will see Jesus in me. Perhaps they will follow suit holding onto Jesus, stumbling through their own days but finding hope as their faith grows day by day.
I am coming to learn it does not matter that I am not a biblical scholar who has all the answers. I am not even sure biblical scholars have all the answer themselves. But this much I do know … with the Lord as my helper and my guide, I can hold out His truth and trust Him to work in the lives of my children and grandchildren.
The most important thing I can do each day is to spend time with Jesus, letting Him change me so that He will be seen in me.
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13, NLT)