The disciples struggled to understand Jesus a lot of the time. He often had to explain His parables and teachings to them. They often said and did things that must have puzzled or maybe angered Jesus. When Jesus instructed them to feed the crowd or to heal people they didn’t think they could really do that. The disciples are a lot like us.
Today we in the church struggle with similar things. Many will not take on some responsibility. We just want to come on Sunday and worship and go home. Many fear others who are different. We just want to sit in our same pew and talk to the same people. Many think of ministry to engage in but they are stuck in fear. We don’t like risk and maybe we think we are not up to the task after all. Many just want things to be nice and the same and comfortable. We don’t ask the hard questions and we do not desire to pursue a deeper faith.
As we read the Bible or hear the stories at church we often wonder how the disciples did not ‘get it’. We think it is so plain to see what Jesus meant and what He expected of them and knew they could do. Yet in spite of their many failures, their lack of trust, and their petty arguing, Jesus never gave up on them. He faithfully continued to pour into them, to teach them, to mold them. In the end, the disciples accomplished some amazing things. They built a church.
The good news is that He does not give up on us either. Through what we read in the word, through the messages we hear, through the voice of the Holy Spirit – He continues to call us to live out our faith and to grow into the person God created us to be. Like the disciples, sometimes we doubt. We think maybe Jesus is looking for someone else or when we hear the testimony of someone for whom God has made a difference, we think Jesus wouldn’t do something like that in our life. At times we are just like the disciples. We question, we doubt, we fear. Yet Jesus never gives up. He wants us to have abundant life, free from fear and worry. He continues to call. In faith, may we follow Him.
Scripture reference: Mark 9: 30-34