Prayer, People, Power

Posted: August 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

Luke 6:12-19, “Prayer, People, Power”

Out of the many occasions for Jesus’ prayers, few are ever chronicled for us, and fewer still have any content recorded for us.  Even in our text today, the words of Jesus’ prayer are unspoken, though the subject matter is pretty apparent: He prayed for His apostles.  He prayed for those about to enter into the harvest field of God with Him, and labored all night in prayer on their behalf.  He knew better than anyone what lay ahead, and He needed His co-laborers to be prepared.  There was work to do – the people to do it were with Him – now they just needed to be called and prepared.

Although Luke’s timeline can sometimes be difficult to follow, let’s remember our context.  The Galilean ministry had begun, with some people already following Jesus as His disciples.  These were unexpected men: fishermen like Peter, James, & John – and sinful men like Levi/Matthew.  The Pharisees not only opposed Jesus’ choice of company, but also His claims of Deity – something which He made clear.  He had done much teaching, but Luke thus far has given few examples of it (which is about to change).  Most recently, Jesus described Himself as the Lord of the Sabbath, having the right/authority over the Sabbath law, as well as the authority to grant the true Sabbath rest of God to others.  In response, the Pharisees started their conspiracy against Jesus, hoping to destroy Him.

Although they will be unsuccessful in defeating Jesus, they would indeed see Him killed.  And this emphasizes something: Jesus would one day be gone & people will be needed to carry on the ministry.  It is that group of men that Jesus sets out to call and to train.  It is that which Luke shows next.  He prays for them all night, calls them in the morning, and starts training in the afternoon.  Jesus wanted people to come alongside Him to do the work of the ministry, and He had just the right men in mind.

He still does.  He has men and women just like you & me in mind.  He’s prayed for us, called us, and equipped us for the work ahead.  Will we answer the call?

Luke 6:12–19

  • Nighttime prayer

12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

  • Time has passed.  How much, we don’t know & scholars debate it depending on their view of Luke’s chronology of events.  What we do know is that Jesus remained active, and Luke shows Him doing something that He did often: pray.  The word is interesting in that it is exactly the same word used of anyone else in the Bible when they prayed to God, and what makes that interesting is that this is Jesus we’re talking about.  This is the Son of God.  And He did the same thing that all of us do.  As the Son of God, Jesus certainly has a special relationship with God the Father & no doubt talks with Him more freely than any of us, but during His earthly ministry, Jesus’ communication with the Father was in the same way it was for any of us.  Jesus prayed.  What is prayer?  It’s simply to talk with God.  Some dictionaries define it as to “petition Deity,” – to put our requests before our Heavenly Father.  Basically, it’s communication.  Sometimes it’s talking – sometimes it’s listening.  At all times, it’s a privilege.  Not everyone has the right to open up a conversation with the King of the Universe.  After all, you couldn’t burst into the throne room of an earthly king without an invitation, just like you can’t walk into the Oval Office in the White House to speak to the President at any time you wish (not without being tackled by Secret Service!).  But with God, you can.  Why?  Because through Jesus, we have a standing invitation!  Through our faith in Jesus, we can come boldly to the throne of grace to find grace in our time of need (Heb 4:16).  Later in the gospel of Luke, Jesus will teach the disciples how to do it using a model prayer (the Lord’s Prayer – Ch. 11).  For now, we just see Jesus Himself doing it, and doing it often.
    • If Jesus needed to pray, it must be important.  And it is!  If the Son of God needed prayer, how much more is it necessary for us?
  • Where did Jesus pray?  At this time, it was on a mountain.  That wasn’t the only place Jesus prayed.  He prayed in the Jordan River at His baptism (3:21).  No doubt He prayed in the wilderness during His temptation, though Luke doesn’t specifically mention it.  Luke does mention how Jesus often went to the wilderness for prayer during His Galilean ministry (5:16).  And of course there was the mountaintop, and it was a logical location.  Why?  He was alone.  Public, corporate prayer is good & necessary – and no doubt Jesus participated in it every time He was in a local synagogue – but with private prayer, we need stillness & solitude.  One of the biggest obstacles we have to personal prayer is distraction.  Even when we’re alone, we’re not alone.  There is always something going on, someone contacting us, some task or entertainment calling us.  One of the best things we can do for our prayer life is to get alone – and beyond alone, get focused.  Remove the distractions that pull our attention away from the Lord.  That might mean physically getting out of the bed – turning off the TV or computer – putting away the phone, etc.  Do what it takes to just get you & God, and talk to Him.  Write to Him.  Sing to Him.  However you need to communicate with the Lord, just do it.
  • When did Jesus pray?  At night, and apparently for “all” night.  Again, this was not necessarily the norm for Jesus.  Other prayers of His were short (surely an example being the one at His baptism), while others were longer.  Some (such as this) were greatly extended.  There are appropriate occasions for times of extended prayer.  For Jesus, when He made the decision of His 12 apostles, that was an occasion that certainly qualified!
    • What do you do when you pray long?  Do you ever pray long?  Maybe it’s not an all-night session, but when was the last time you spent more than even just a couple of minutes in prayer?  We’ve had far longer conversations with friends and family – surely we can have it with our Lord & God.  There are times we absolutely need to have our attention fully dedicated to the Lord.  It doesn’t mean that we need to spend so many minutes on our knees that our feet fall asleep; it does mean that we need to focus on the Lord throughout our day.  Maybe our time of prayer is broken up, but it comes at regular intervals through the day or night.  It might look different for you than for someone else, but we can surely find a way to make it happen.
  • One thing that all of Jesus’ prayers had in common is that they were intentional.  Obviously Jesus (better than anyone!) was able to maintain a constant attitude of prayer throughout the day, demonstrating what Paul meant when he wrote about praying without ceasing (1 Ths 5:17).  But the recorded instances of Jesus’ prayers are all intentional.  He didn’t wait for the mood to strike, or for circumstances around Him to force Him to pray.  He was proactive in prayer, and knew what He was doing when He prayed to His Father.
    • Can that describe your prayer life?  Or is it more happenstance – more come & go?  Be intentional with your prayer – be proactive.  Make regular appointments with Jesus & keep them. …
  • What was the subject of Jesus’ prayer?  Luke doesn’t specifically say, but it isn’t difficult to guess based on the context given.  He was praying for His disciples.  Vs. 13…
  • Morning calling

13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:

  • Jesus had spent all night in prayer, and no one would have blamed Him for sleeping in the next morning.  Apparently, Jesus didn’t do it.  Instead, He got straight to work once daylight came.  After all, why wait?  Once Jesus got the answer He needed, all He required was the opportunity to put it in action.  Thus He did so “when it was day.
    • Can we say the same?  For some of us, we tend to use prayer as an excuse to procrastinate.  It’s not that we don’t know what to do – it’s that we delay in doing it.  Instead of getting to work, we throw out the most spiritual excuse we can think of: “Let me pray about it.”  Let’s be honest.  What we need at that point is not prayer; it’s obedience.  There comes a time that our supposed excuse for prayer is really just an attempt to shift the blame for inaction from us to God.
    • Do we need to pray?  Yes!  Without question, we head into far too many things much too soon.  We haven’t prayed, seeking God’s will & God’s glory, and the result is that we often seek the kingdom of men rather than the kingdom of God.  Prayer is almost obscenely neglected by Christians far too often.  So yes, pray!  But once you’ve prayed, act.  Go to God in prayer, but don’t stay on your knees when it’s time to get moving.  It is possible to pray while you’re in motion, so do it.  We can still pray while we’re stepping out in obedient faith.  Jesus didn’t hesitate to act, so neither should we.
  • What was His action?  He gathered His disciples, and appointed 12 as apostles.  There are several things of note here.  First, there were more than 12 people who followed Jesus as His disciples.  “From them…”  We tend to use the terms “disciples” and “apostles” interchangeably, but there’s a difference.  Jesus had many disciples.  Anyone who followed Him in faith could have been considered one of His disciples.  His own mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea, etc., all were His disciples though they are not named among the 12 apostles.  A disciple is a learner.  More than a student or pupil, a disciple is perhaps best thought of as an apprentice.  A disciple learns the ways of his/her Master, and seeks to emulate Him.
    • We are disciples of Jesus, and our calling is to make other disciples of Jesus. (Mt 28:19-20)  Jesus did not commission us to simply convert people to a new religion; He commanded us to make disciples of every nation by going, baptizing, and teaching.  We are disciples who are also disciple-makers.
      • Are you participating in the Great Commission?  How so?  What are you personally doing to make disciples?
      • Are you a disciple?  Have you (1) put your faith in Jesus as Lord, and (2) actually followed Him as Lord?  Today is the day it can happen.
  • Jesus “chose.”  The process of becoming an apostle of Christ was a sovereign one.  Simon Peter did not wake up that morning and decide to be named an apostle of Jesus.  This was a choice made for him by the King of kings.  Jesus chose him as an apostle, so that is what he became.  Jesus always chooses & calls those who belong to Him.  That applies to discipleship as well as to apostleship.  No one comes to Jesus in faith unless the Father draws him/her (Jn 6:44).  He has seen us & known us from before the foundation of the world, and He has called us to Himself.
    • That doesn’t mean that we have no choice of our own.  We do!  We must choose to respond to Jesus.  If Simon Peter never answered the call of Christ, it’s doubtful that we would know his name.  The process is initiated by the Lord God, but it needs the faithful response of men & women to go beyond that.
    • The fact that Jesus personally chose His apostles emphasizes something about the office itself: it is assigned by God.  Beware of those who heap up all kinds of spiritual-sounding title for themselves.  At some point we have to ask who gave these men (and women) those supposed credentials.  Was it a choice by God or by men?
  • Jesus “chose twelve.”  Why 12?  Because this was the start of a new nation – a new body of believers in God.  There were 12 patriarchs for the 12 tribes of Israel, so likewise there were 12 apostles for the Church instituted by Jesus Christ.  This does not mean that the 12 apostles or the overall Church somehow replaces Israel.  There is no replacement for Israel, and God has a glorious plan for that nation to be saved. (Rom 9-11, Rev 7, etc.)  God does plan to use the Church & apostles in conjunction with Israel (Rev 21:14), but not as a replacement for it.
    • There is an inherent danger with replacement theology in that it dilutes & even does away with the promises of God.  If God can choose to replace Israel, why would He not do it with us?  If God’s promises in the Old Testament don’t mean what they say, what basis do we have to trust God’s promises in the New Testament?  Let it not be so!  Let God be true & every man a liar.
  • Of these 12, Jesus “named apostles.”  Technically speaking, the word simply means “one who is sent.”  From a Greek language standpoint, an “apostle” is someone (usually a servant) sent as a representative of another.  The apostle comes with his master’s message & at least some of his authority, and is sent specifically for certain tasks.  In that sense, there have been many “apostles” throughout the church age.  Any missionary sent by one church to go plant another church could be considered an apostle.  Other church planters sent out to start new movements (such as Paul, via the church at Antioch) certainly were historically counted among the apostles.  Paul even mentions a few by name (James, the Lord’s brother – Gal 1:19; Barnabas – Acts 14:14; Apollos – 1 Cor 4:6-9, etc.).  That said, this is not what Jesus had in mind when He named His specific 12 apostles.  These men were chosen to fulfill a certain office/role in the Church, and to help lay the initial foundation for the Church (Eph 2:20).  How do we know the role was limited?  Because they were not replaced.  The one apostle who was replaced was Judas Iscariot, and that was because he vacated his office through his treason.  As for the rest, they were never replaced as they died off.  Those 12 apostles will always be The 12 Apostles, and they will continue that role into the Millennial kingdom and beyond.
    • What does all of that mean for us?  It means that Jesus knew what He was doing when He set up His church.  He didn’t simply slap things together, or take the first people He saw.  Jesus had a plan for His Church – He prayed over that plan – then He put it into motion.
    • What Jesus did with the Church, He does with us as individual Christians.  He has a plan for us – He prays over us – He put His plan into motion.  And He will see it through to completion!
  • That’s what Jesus did.  Who did He call?  Luke lists off the men in vss. 14-16…

14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother;

  • Simon Peter is undoubtedly the most well-known of the apostles & arguably the most influential (the other choice being John).  Simon was given his apostolic name of “Peter” by the Lord Jesus, and it was given early on in their relationship, though it wasn’t fully explained until Simon Peter gave his famous confession of faith. “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” (Mt 16:16)  Peter had believed upon Jesus prior to that point, but he hadn’t come to the full realization of who Jesus actually was as the Messiah until later.  In any case, it was upon that same confession that Jesus said that He would build His church.  Therefore Simon was called “Peter” (rock), because he confessed the massive foundation rock of the gospel.
  • Andrew was (as Luke notes) the brother of Peter.  Although Simon tends to get all of the attention between the two of them, there wouldn’t be a Simon Peter without an Andrew.  Andrew was instrumental in his brother’s salvation, because he was the one who introduced his brother to Jesus.  All Christians ought to be grateful for the mostly silent, but vastly important, ministry of Andrew!
    • There are many Christians who are unknown to history, but who were incredibly influential upon it.  Who was the man who first shared the gospel with DL Moody?  Who was the first monk to speak with Martin Luther after his clarity of understanding of Romans & justification by faith?  These are people whose names are lost to us, but not to Jesus.  They were used immensely for His glory, and they are/will receive their heavenly reward.
    • You may work behind the scenes, but you might never know who it is you influence.  The next Billy Graham?  The next Elizabeth Elliott?  The church would be far poorer without them, and thus poorer without those who influenced them for Jesus.

James and John;

  • Just as Peter and Andrew were brothers, so were James and John as the sons of Zebedee.  Like Peter and Andrew, these two were also fishermen, seemingly partners with the other brothers in the family business.  James & John were considered part of Jesus’ inner circle (along with Peter), and they were witnesses to His transfiguration.  James was the first apostle martyred for his faith (Acts 12:1-2), whereas John was the last apostle to remain alive.  John became incredibly influential within the church, eventually settling in Ephesus, writing his gospel & at least three letters before being exiled to the island of Patmos & writing the book of Revelation.  John was likely the youngest of all the apostles during Jesus’ earthly ministry, but his youth was certainly no obstacle!
    • Praise God for young men & women of faith!  God can use both young and old for His glory.  He doesn’t need someone to fit a certain demographic – He just needs someone who has a willing spirit and humble heart.

Philip and Bartholomew;

  • It wasn’t only Simon Peter who had two names – it was a fairly common practice at the time, which included several of the apostles.  Bartholomew is likely the apostle known elsewhere as Nathanael, and just like Andrew was the one who introduced Peter to Jesus, Philip did the same with Bartholomew/Nathanael (Jn 1:45).  Whether or not these two were physically related, we do not know, but they certainly were brothers in Christ!

15 Matthew and Thomas;

  • Matthew has already been introduced us as Levi, though Luke will refer to him by his more well-known name from this point forward (Acts 1:13 being the only other specific reference).  Perhaps this was his new identity after coming to faith; perhaps not.  What we do know is that after he surrendered his life to Christ, things were never the same.
    • Neither is it with us.  When Jesus changes us, we are forever changed!
  • Thomas is best known to us for his doubts, which is a disservice to him.  He was not present with the other disciples the first time Jesus appeared to them in the upper room, and Thomas’ skepticism is somewhat understandable.  Should he have believed?  Yes…but how many of us would have shared his doubts?  When Jesus appeared a second time, there was no hesitation.  Thomas followed through on none of his earlier demands, instead immediately proclaiming Jesus as both his Lord and his God (Jn 20:28).  These are not the words of a ‘doubting’ Thomas, but of a faith-filled one!
    • Don’t you love the persistence of Jesus?  He could have given up on Thomas, but He didn’t.  He loved Thomas enough to bring him to faith, just as He does with us.  He could have (and probably should have) given up on us, but He doesn’t.  He loves us enough to call us to Himself, and see our faith through to its conclusion.  (But we still have to answer the call!)

James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot;

  • Little to nothing is known of James son of Aphaeus from the pages of Scripture.  What we do know is that Jesus knew him, and knew him well enough to choose him as one of the 12.  Again, you might not have a visible ministry, but God knows your name.  He knows you & your service for Him better than you know yourself!
  • Simon is interesting because of his background.  He was a “Zealot” – a revolutionary who sought the violent overthrow of the Roman occupation government.  Along the way, Simon threw in his lot with the true Messiah, but he never saw victorious military revolution.  Instead, he got something far better: the kingdom of God.  National politics are petty in comparison with Jesus.  The issues are not unimportant, but our priorities are vastly different.  The best, most effective revolution is one that is born out of revival.  When people come to faith in Christ, their lives are radically transformed by Him, and many of the political issues take care of themselves.

16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.

  • How would you like to share the name of a traitor?  It’s no wonder what Judas Iscariot is always identified by his surname in order to set him apart from every other Judas (Jude/Judah) out there.  As for Judas the son of James, he seems to be known elsewhere as Simon the Cananite, which might suggest a background not purely Jewish (which would have been scandalous at the time for an apostle of the Jewish Messiah).  Otherwise, we know little else about him.
  • Judas Iscariot, on the other hand, we know well.  Apart from Peter & John, he is likely the most famous (infamous) of the apostle., but the one who betrayed the Lord Jesus and “became a traitor.”  Question: was this a surprise to Jesus?  Certainly not.  He knew the plan of God for Himself from before the foundations of the world.  He know all of these men: their successes, their failures, and even Judas’ treachery.  And Jesus still chose him.  Jesus deliberately chose Judas – not out of ignorance, but out of love.  Judas Iscariot had exactly the same opportunities as every other apostle.  He heard the same teachings, witnessed the same miracles, experienced the same love & compassion.  Jesus left out nothing with Judas.  Thus when Judas betrayed Jesus, he knew exactly what he was doing.  He left himself without excuse.
    • Likewise with everyone else who chooses to reject Jesus.  There is not a single man or woman who knowingly rejects Jesus who can claim an excuse of ignorance.  They may not know Jesus as well as Judas Iscariot knew Him, but they still have the testimony of God around them in creation.  They still have the witness of the law of God written upon their hearts.  And if they specifically say no to Jesus, then they are saying no to the revelation of God Himself.  Thus they have no excuse.
    • But that is not what God desires for anyone!  Far better to have the faltering Simon Peters & the hesitant Thomases, than the rejecting Judases.  Jesus is in the business of forgiveness & restoration – that is why He came!  You may have stumbled along the way, but you still have the opportunity to receive Him as Lord.  Do it today!

All in all, this is a rather motley crew chosen by Jesus!  One might think that the Messiah of Israel would choose the religious cream of the crop – the top theologians – the most holy of all of the men in Judea.  Instead, Jesus chose fishermen, tax-collectors, revolutionaries, no-names, and traitors.  What on earth was He doing?  Earth has nothing to do with it.  This was about the kingdom of heaven.  This was about grace.  If the Messiah could use these people, He can use all people.  And He can!  Jesus picked the men He did because through them His glory would shine brightest.  He does the same with us.  1 Corinthians 1:26–29, "(26) For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. (27) But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; (28) and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, (29) that no flesh should glory in His presence."  Paul gives his great pep talk to the Corinthians to remind them that they did nothing to deserve God’s love or calling.  They weren’t worthy in themselves, but they were still chosen by God.  God chose them to highlight His glory; not theirs.  Likewise with us.  The fact that God would not only choose, but use people like us only shows how great God is.  It is a marvelous testimony to His grace.

All of that took place in the morning, and now it was time to get to work.  Vs. 17…

  • Afternoon ministry

17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.

  • The men chosen, now it was time to get to work.  Jesus had prayed for the right men to join Him in the work of the harvest ministry.  Jesus had called them by name to join Him as His sent ones.  Now it was time to send them forth.  There was a harvest field right in front of them even as they came down off the mountain, and thus there wasn’t a moment to lose.
  • Notice that Jesus came down to a “level place.”  This is one detail (out of several) that seems to distinguish the sermon that follows from the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew.  Although many scholars hold that both sermons are the same (and present good arguments for it), it seems more likely that they are different events.  Matthew’s record is far longer than Luke’s, and Luke spreads out the teaching of Jesus throughout the rest of his book.  In addition, the naming of the apostles takes place at different points.  For like, it was right before the sermon; for Matthew, it was after.  Ultimately, we cannot definitively say whether or not this is the same event, and there is much overlap.  Considering that Jesus was an itinerant minister, it would not have been unusual for Him to repeat certain themes, stories, and teachings to different audiences, and that is quite possibly the case here.
  • Whatever your conclusions on what sermon this is, there was certainly a crowd of people who came out to hear it!  Jews & Gentiles alike “came to hear Him and be healed.”  Jesus’ doctrine would care for their spiritual sickness, and His miraculous power would take care of the rest.  Jesus is sufficient for every need.
  • And it worked.  Whether their disease was physical, spiritual, or emotional, Jesus healed it.  No affliction was too difficult for Him, be it attributed to biology or demonology.  It isn’t always easy tell the difference between the two.  Some people who are mentally disturbed might easily be confused with those who are demonically afflicted, and unless the Holy Spirit grants someone revelation through the spiritual gift of the discerning of spirits (1 Cor 12:10), we might find it impossible to know which is which.  The good news is that Jesus knows, and that Jesus heals.  We may not be able to treat a disease, but we can bring the diseased to Jesus.  Interestingly, after naming the 12 apostles, they are not specifically mentioned apart from coming down the mountain with Jesus.  What were they doing at the time?  No doubt they were helping organize the crowd as they sought to see Jesus.  At the time, the apostles couldn’t do much by way of power, but they could see the power of Jesus at work as they brought people to Him.  That’s what we do: we bring people to Jesus & let Him show forth His power.  And that’s what He does – vs. 19…

19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

  • Just as when the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touched Jesus for healing & He felt power go out of Him (Lk 8:46), so did the “multitude” desire to touch Jesus.  They knew the miraculous power of God proceeded “out from Him” and they would receive the healing they sought.  Not a single person would be left out – all they required was interaction with the power of Jesus.
  • What is His power?  The word is δυναμις, recognizable to us from our word “dynamite” (though it doesn’t mean ‘dynamite’), or from our word “dynamic.”  It refers to ability, capability, strength, or even as a mighty deed or miracle.  What is impossible for us is possible for God, because He has the power, the strength, the δυναμις  to make it happen.  We tend to rely upon our own strength, but we also tend to forget that we don’t really have any strength in the first place.  Certainly not for spiritual matters!  One of the greatest powerlifters in the world is Dan Reinhoudt, who apparently was the first man to beat the 2400 pound total.  It takes a lot of power to lift that kind of weight.  That’s nothing compared to the weight of sin that lies upon each one of us.  What kind of power does it take to rise from the dead?  It doesn’t matter how athletically you train in life, nothing but the supernatural power of God is able to bring someone back from the dead – and that is the kind of power Jesus possesses!  He has the δυναμις wonder-working power of God.  Disease?  No problem.  Demons?  No big deal.  Death? Not an issue in the slightest.  Jesus’ power overcomes them all.
  • The one catch is that we have to come to Jesus to receive that power.  For the multitude, they desired to physically touch Him, which made sense considering He was physically in their midst.  Even that was unnecessary, as Jesus could have pronounced them healed, if He so desired.  Yet even then, they needed to have some sort of contact with Him in order to receive His power.  So do we.  We need some sort of contact, and that contact is faith.  When we believe upon Jesus, we receive His power to be saved, and thus we are healed from the ultimate disease: eternal death.

Conclusion:
‘Twas a busy 24 hours for Jesus!  He prayed all night, named His apostles in the morning, and ministered to all kinds of people later in the day, demonstrating the miraculous power of God all along the way.  The multitudes came out of the woodwork to see Him, traveling from all over the land to hear His teaching & to receive of His power.

Did Jesus need help for the ministry?  Not really.  He could have done it all Himself.  Did He want help for the ministry?  Without a doubt, yes.  Just as Jesus would later tell His disciples to pray to God for harvest workers (Lk 10:2), so did Jesus pray for the same thing.  He prayed for fellow laborers.  Once He knew them, He called them by name.  Once He called them, He put them to work.  Again, that is exactly what He does with us. 

  • He knows us…He always has.  He’s knows us better than we know ourselves, and He has prayed for us intently.  The Bible tells that that one of the things that Jesus continually does is to make intercession for His saints (Heb 7:25).  As a Christian, Jesus has prayed for you, and that ought to be an incredibly comforting thought.
  • He’s called us.  If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, your own faith is proof of your calling.  Not a Christian has lived who hasn’t been called by God to faith in Jesus.  (And if you are unsure of your calling, exercise your faith today & be sure!)  But more than just to faith, Jesus has called us to service.  Your service to Him might look different than someone else, but it is valuable all the same.  Go do it!  Few people are called to do the same thing, but no one is called to do nothing.
  • He’s empowered us & put us into service.  When the apostles came off the mountain, all of the focus was back upon Jesus, and that’s the way it should be.  Our service unto Jesus is to point people to Jesus.  Our ministry is to direct others to Him, as disciples who make other disciples.  The power to do so has come from God, and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is within us.

Much of what Jesus did with the apostles, He does with the rest of us as His disciples.  We have a slightly different ministry, but we have the same Lord & share in the same salvation.  Thus we have the same joy in serving Christ.  Spend time with Him in prayer – serve Him in the joy and power of the Spirit.  There is much to do, and not much time in which to do it.

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