“Jesus Chooses Disciples”
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, Our King, Our Strength and Our Redeemer! AMEN
Today's gospel reading as you just heard deals with the time when Jesus chose His first disciples – Andrew, Simon,( Philip and Nathaniel.)
We learn first that John was told how to recognize the Messiah when He came. The Spirit of God would descend on Him and remain. This would be that one who would baptise with the Holy Spirit.
And true to the prophetic word that is exactly what happened! Brothers and sisters
that gift is open to all right now! After Jesus died,was ressurected , returned to Heaven,and from the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit descended. We as disciples of Christ,have received that special gift of God. We have Holy Spirit living in us and Jesus tells us he will remain with us forever!
As we look through the introductions to their calling we see two instructions given by Jesus.
1. Come and see!
2. Follow Me!
These are Jesus' instructions to all His disciples today; that is you and I....
Come and see and Follow Me!
These are the universal invitations we are to give to all those we meet who show an interest in learning about God and Jesus. Come and taste that the Lord is Good and Believe in the Lord and you will be saved!
People often think that telling others about Jesus is difficult, but that is what it boils down to, and the Master showed us how to do it!
We can invite people to Services,(Sunday & others) Bible studies, (Wednesday & others) Church Groups (Women /Men' Fellowship) Service Teams ( Saturday) (Sundays)
Floral Arrangements, Refresments,Gardening,
Social events,Seminars,Forums,Away Days, Prayer Groups etc....Mission and Outreach Programs,and we will soon have other regular happenings in the church. The Lists are endless. Community events -Incidentally, if the church ran a weekly or fortnightly Alfa Course..... I wonder how many would be interested in attending? Let me know afterwards!!
Now, back to the gospel then! When these “disciples to be” found Jesus, they told others about Him. This was even before they had received the Holy Spirit as we have or even become disciples! So it should not be too hard for us who love Jesus and have accepted Him as our Lord and Saviour.
The other thing that we should note is that Jesus knows us through and through, warts and all, good and bad points equally!
There is a current Joke among the Cleaning/preparation Saturday Team, where they ask “who is.........”
On a more serious note,however,we should all be asking that of ourselves- “who am I?”as well as asking -”Who is Jesus?” and having ascertained the answers,be able and eager to share the good news with everyone!
Our Bible readings and the gospel,today,point to Isaiah,David,Paul,John and of course Jesus.(highlight sentences)
Again,Let's look at what He said to Nathaniel.
“Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.”
Jesus knew what his heart was like and it's the same for us also. Jesus knows everything we do; how we think; and what our character is like. He is not fooled! He knows the sins we commit and just because He has forgiven them, this does not mean we will not have to face consequences. But He wants us to mature in character and avoid trouble!
We also should look at ourselves honestly and realistically. Nathaniel knew that he did not have deceit in his heart, so he replied to Jesus, “How do you know me?” He realised that Jesus had insight into his character. He has insight into ours also!
So don't ever think that Jesus cannot work through us and bring us to spiritual maturity despite our faults. He's not surprised at what you are like; he knew that before He called you. The thing is He wants to change us to be like He is, so let's not disappoint Him by continuing to live according to our old fleshly ways. Follow Holy Spirit's leading.
When Nathaniel realised these things he said - “Rabbi you are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel!”
That should be our response also.
JESUS IS ALIVE. OUR LORD, OUR KING AND REDEEMER
When we acknowledge and believe in Jesus, He will also say to us as in John 1:51.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
If you remember, when Jacob camped on the site where Abraham had built an altar to God, he saw angels going up and down on a ladder between God and man; heaven and earth. That was then!
Jesus tells us that now, after His resurrection, the angels go up and down on Him! You may not have realised the possible significance of that image!
When you are close to God, looking to Jesus, and following the Holy Spirit, if god wants to send you an answer via an angel they do not have to go via a place where a previous man of God has created an open heaven! Since you have Jesus living in you, they can come direct to you to bring God's blessings!
All believing, disciples of Jesus, have an open heaven over them. Your prayers always get through to the Father and His answers always get back to you!
What a great and good God we serve. He is good to us all the time. And He hides gems about Himself and our relationship to Him in His word for us to discover and seeing His love for us in these gems grow to love Him more and more.
God believes in us which is why He called us.
When we believe, God can move mountains!