I'm reading through Matthew 10 this week and posting my thoughts and comments here.
He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
This passage of scriptures speaks to me a couple of things:
- Jesus called (asked) some of his followers, not all, to separate themselves out from all the others, and come to him.
- It was only after these 12 men left, or separated themselves out from the others and came to Jesus, that he gave them authority to do specific things.
Jesus gave these guys an opportunity for something more! Something miraculous!! The chance to actively join him in what he was doing!!! To move out from a spectator and be on the field of play!!!!
But it seems to me that it was conditional upon them making a choice to come closer to Jesus. In other words, they had to leave from where they were, step out of the group of people (spectators) they were with and “come to him”.
Now realize that these 12 guys had already left friends, family, and their livelihoods behind to be “Fans” of Jesus. You know the ones. It’s like those fans who are die-hard GSU fans, but who never actually went to school here or even had a kid go here. They just are spectators. (I also include in this “fan” category those who did/do go to school at GSU, but never participated in any extracurricular activity at GSU; just classes, library, exams, diploma, and gone. They’re the ones who only experienced “part” of the “WHOLE” experience of being a student at GSU.)
Some of these guys had been with Jesus for nearly a couple of years. They had witnessed first hand “Jesus teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, healing every disease & sickness” (Matt4:23-25) and even casting out evils spirits. They heard Jesus preach the sermon on the mount (Matt5–7), they saw a man healed of leprosy (Matt8:1-4), and another who was paralyzed was healed (Matt9:1-8). They even saw Jesus bring a dead girl back to life! And all this time Jesus was teaching, training, and loving those devoted “fans”, people who were constantly around Jesus…especially those who left everything behind to be with Jesus, to follow him on this journey.
And now, Jesus is asking them to step out and come to him again!
Have you been hanging around Jesus for a while?
Have you witnessed first hand Jesus’ acts of life changing love, either with yourself or someone close to you?
Have you ever wondered if Jesus has more in store for you?
Have you recently heard Jesus’ familiar voice as he again calls you to him?
These 12 guys, by moving out from the crowd of people who were following Jesus as “fans” and moving closer to Jesus, were transformed from being “observers” of the kingdom of God, growing by the transforming power of Jesus, to “active participants” with Jesus growing the kingdom of God.
Oh, by the way, LifeSpring Church’s leadership team is looking for "fans of Jesus" who are transformed into “active participants with Jesus”! The choice if yours!