Shoulder Check: John 15-16

Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. – John 16:23-24

It’s been a hectic week and I needed some time to look back and reflect on everything that’s passed. I’ve been pretty content with where my time has been going, so I hope I can at least keep that up! My bible reading plan made me think about the lives of the apostles.

What they experienced really sets them apart from the disciples of today. They got to walk alongside Jesus, see and experience all that he had to offer, and even perform these miracles themselves. They had the authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, and cure disease and blindness. Jesus told them that if they had faith the size of a mustard seed, they would be able to make mountains leap. Was that an exaggeration?

A figure of speech? Maybe. An exaggeration, no.

It’s pretty clear in the New Testament that these 12 had a ridiculous amount of authority given to them directly from Jesus. They were doing great things before they had truly pieced everything together for themselves. Jealous yet? Just a second.

It’s when I look at these apostles, that I see how difficult things are going to be, no matter how well things are now. I see that the more one is given, the more that is expected out of them and the greater the responsibility. Yes, it would be incredible to have the same gifts these apostles have, but they also suffered for the kingdom at that same magnitude. Most of us wouldn’t want to be associated with any of these gifts if it meant I had to be crucified upside-down.

I don’t have the power to move even metaphorical mountains with a mustard seed of faith, and I’m really going to need a bit more faith than that. The apostles were good models (moreso after Jesus’ death) but they were in a totally different league, and they really showed it through the prosperity of the Church shortly after.

When I take the time to think back to my last couple terms or years, I naturally categorize periods of time into highs and lows. It’s common to have times where I feel confident in my faith, as I am now, and times where I regret not living it out more faithfully. Where am I going with this? Not too sure, but I hope when God does call me to do something I can really be ready for it.

God didn’t just leave us alone to go suffer for his Kingdom, he gave us the forecast and he gave us the spirit. Yes, the apostles did great things before the crucifixion, but those were miniscule compared to the things they did after Jesus’ death. In fact, without the preparation from Jesus and the Holy Spirit they never would have done anything. The time Jesus spent with them was nothing more than just a preparation for them, and Jesus’ death was all that was left to make them great.

So what do I do?

  1. Pray that I continue to seek truth and increase in faith.
  2. Pray that I will not just be prepared, but eagerly waiting.
  3. Pray to know Jesus more personally.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Michael “Almost done the Gospels” Ru

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