Saturday, May 21, 2016

Relentless
A series of expositions on John the Apostle Pt.6


John 6:70
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”

The Lord had struck a special kinship with young John as they walked the dusty roads between each town and city. Young John watched the crowds grow as Jesus displayed wonders among them. John had seen men lame from birth rise and walk, their legs reconstructed right before everyone’s eyes. He had watched men that had never glimpsed even a shred of sunlight have their eyes made new, jumping and screaming with joy as they beheld the world for the first time. John and the other disciples had shrieked with fear the first time they watched the Lord reach out and touch a leper but then felt ashamed of their lack of faith as they watched the leprous skin remade new again. Jesus took great joy in watching they’re delight and always thanked the Father in heaven for all he performed.
A large crowd began to stalk the twelve; John began to notice many of the same faces in the multitudes being taught. They would go a whole days walk into another town and yet they would be there waiting or following close behind. John could hear some of them trying to turn the people against his master and reported this to the Lord but Jesus seemed neither surprised nor worried in the least.

Jesus sat teaching near the Sea of Galilee to more people than young John had ever seen in one place before. The twelve now tried to keep the teacher surrounded as often as possible because of the threats hurled at Jesus from the spies of the Pharisees. On several occasions the disciples feared they would drag him away and stone him to death because of their inability to accept what he taught, but strangely he had watched his teacher walk through murderous crowds and leave as if they no longer recognized him. Even the disciples were baffled by many of his teachings but discussed among themselves which ones they would ask the Lord to repeat for them.  The parable he told of his own execution began to seem more like prophesy than a teaching story and John and the other disciples began to discuss this most of all.
As the teaching ended Phillip went to the Lord and seemed to be confused and frustrated with what Jesus was telling him. When Phillip had walked away a young boy handed Jesus a basket, young John ran to Phillip and asked what the Lord had said. Phillip told John to help the others in getting everyone seated on the grass in groups. What John took part in next left him wondering if there was anything this teacher could not do?
 Young John and the other eleven returned to the Lord again and again and had their baskets filled with fish and bread. Jesus would hold the empty basket to the sky and when he brought it back down it would be filled again and again until they had given food to the last person they’re that day. As John also ate he was even more amazed because the bread was as if it had just been baked. As the people began to finish many of the men began to shout “Surely this is the son of David!” One man shouted. “The new King of Israel!” Another man joined in. The shouting grew into chants and singing, John began to be afraid, after all there were many thousands of them, what would stop them from doing whatever they wished?
John looked to where Jesus had been but he was gone. Not being able to find Jesus the crowd began to leave, most heading toward town.

Rant
Looking at the enormous text of the Bible we can get intimidated with the notion of reading it. We can witness the great intelligence of our pastors and teachers in our churches and think “I could never do that.” We hear sermons on the mighty faith of the apostles and the prophets and feel very inferior. All of us can look in the mirror and get depressed over what it is we think we are incapable of doing, and we are right we are, on our own, incapable of many things, but what is God incapable of doing?
King David as a young shepherd boy stood before a philistine soldier that was more than nine feet tall and he was able to do so not because of his great confidence in his own abilities but because of his great faith in his God, he was actually confused and frustrated with the fear of those around him. 
Many times we, Disciples of Christ, can see a need but don’t even begin to consider ourselves capable of filling that need because we are only thinking of the abilities we currently have or know about. We tell ourselves we could never teach because we don’t know enough or we could never lead someone to Christ because we may not be able to answer their questions. We may feel a pull by the Holy Spirit to do certain things but shrink back after reminding ourselves of our limited time or our limited talents but we who follow Christ are vessels of the greatest power this world will ever see, our abilities do not end with our limited brain capacities or our own life experiences, no, we are tapped into limitless knowledge and ability. A jigsaw isn’t much on its own just a hunk of metal and plastic without a carpenter, but with the carpenter it’s capable of crafting beautiful things.
These first disciples of Jesus were men of limited abilities also, these were not men of great learning or position, most were poor and uneducated yet the Lord took what little they had to offer and made much with them. Like a carpenter with a few small tools can produce many beautiful works of craftsmanship he took a handful of very regular ordinary common people and changed the world. If these men had believed in only themselves and their own abilities they would have remained in hiding for the rest of their lives even after seeing the risen Christ, but they didn’t after they received the Holy Spirit they forgot about themselves and they’re own limitations and had faith in the fact that they had been made an instrument, a tool to be used for God’s will.
That same Spirit resides in you and in me. The Lord can make much from very little, of this I am a great example, I am more and more convinced as I walk with Christ that fears and selfishness is our only obstacles to being true servants of our Lord and doing all he has called us to do. We convince ourselves we are incapable as we look at only our own abilities rather than the awesome power of Jesus Christ. We use our comfort level and our preferences rather than His Spirit to lead us into any faithful action. We selfishly think of what we may loose or need to give up, whether its time, money, or how others view us and we resist what the Spirit is trying to pull us toward.

We hold onto ridiculous notions that tell us to value the things of this world and to tightly cling to the few pathetic crumbs of time or material this world has to offer for ourselves rather than hand it over to the One that can take those crumbs and greatly multiply them to serve and increase His Kingdom here on this earth, the One that will exchange those things by giving you back, not wealth or even health but a peace and joy that transcends all understanding and an assurance and confidence in eternal things to come that silences all the fear filled whispers of the evil one. 
We are only His tools, we can collect dust and get rusty or we can give ourselves to the carpenter.

Christ is the only one that can take the limited beings we are and change us, making us into a completely new creation and by His power, not ours, He can make us into more than we ever believed possible, and use for tasks that on our own we could have never accomplished, tasks for His Kingdom, His glory, and our eternity. 


Just give all that you are to Him and watch as He takes our measly crumbs and makes abundance!