“all Jesus did to teach men His way was to be with them, and all that he asked His disciples to do was follow Him”
Robert Coleman, Master Plan of Evangelism
The Miraculous and Ministry
Upon agreeing to follow Jesus the disciples were immediately thrust into the awe-inspiring miraculous, the mind renewal of Christ’s ministry, and the realization that Jesus had no place to lay His head.
Daily they learned like never before, and their thoughts were challenged about who they thought God was. Their thoughts were challenged about who they were, and all they had come to know.
One such challenge was to those who witnessed the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7. During this explanation of how the disciples of his were to follow Jesus did not omit the law, but allowed them to understand that the law was a higher standard than they had held themselves to. They realized that their efforts and beliefs about how good they were at keeping the law were now further challenged with the inability to keep it.
Their hearts were softened to know they didn’t measure up, they began to understand their need, and the result was they saw the needs of others. They realized that they were not meant to just keep the law but respond to Jesus who loved them. That their only ability to ever be able to live like Him was to receive that love and to respond to others.
How to love our neighbor and our enemy. V. 43-44 to bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and to pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you. He took the act of righteousness to a heart level.
They followed Him as He changed water into wine before them. Caught fish by His word, Walked on Water, Fed the multitudes with a meal for a small child. Cast demons, raised the dead, and healed the sick and distressed. He touched the untouchables and the leprosy did not rub off on Him, instead life rubbed off on them and their flesh was healed. Imagine someone you know who is suffering from distress and disease and then you heard Jesus was in town. Imagine the crowds that came to see Him just to be healed. The disciples watched and obeyed as they followed Him to see one man, one woman, or multitudes that were almost crushing in number.
In the Presence
They ate, drank, slept, and ministered alongside Him. His presence intoxicating and profound wrapped in humility, grace, compassion, love, and mercy to all who received Him. Their questions never-ceasing, and their exhaustion growing.
They followed Him into Jerusalem where there was rejoicing in who He was. They followed Him although there were whispers about their reputations of eating with sinners and such. They followed Him into the crowd where people were waiting to kill Him. And they followed Him to quiet places where they overheard Him pray and asked how to do the same.
A few were chosen to enter into a room to raise a girl from the dead, and to see Him in His glory on the mount of transfiguration. He took them into the secret place of His working.
All the while their minds were being renewed and their belief in the Son of God increased until He empowered them to minister two by two. He imparted to them the Holy Spirit. Then they returned to give praise, I’m sure to ask questions, and share their ministry experiences with one another.
They had now, not only participated alongside Him in ministry, but knew the empowerment of ministering alongside each other in the authority he had given them. They knew what it was to rely on that empowerment to carry them through until they were with Him again. They watched as Jesus chose another seventy and sent them out to experience the same.
The Secret Place
For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. Mark 4:22 NIV
Spending time in the secret place with Jesus is so important to us. In His presence we receive His love, joy, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and understanding. Our old ways of thinking are challenged. Our understanding of Who God is, who we are in Christ, and how to love and minister to others is expanded in the secret place. Spend time in the secret place to receive and submit to the renewal of your mind in prayer and in the Word.
May I pray for you?
Thank you that we can come into the secret place with you. That we do not have to confer with man to learn who You are. That you have told us that the Spirit teaches all things. That you give wisdom freely to those who ask. Teach us who You are and who you are not, who we are and who we are not, how to receive from you, renew our minds, and help us receive direction in our lives. Teach us how to apply the knowledge you share with us there.
Please help us to make time for listening in the secret place. Thank you that is a safe place to pour out our victories and defeats, concerns, our worries, our fears, our doubts, our needs, and our longings. Where we can tell you what is happening in our lives, our ministry, and our secret heart. Help us not put you in a box of our preconceived ideas about who You are. You are too great to be put in a box of ideas. For your foolishness is more wisdom than we have. May we learn how to hear you through the remembrance that the secret place is not a place for monologue, but rather divine conversation where we listen more than we speak.
Thank you for what you are going to do in the secret place with each of us. That what you do there will be made manifest in our lives from the inside out. That we too will witness the miraculous with you, and be called your ministers with flames of fire.
In Jesus name,