Most of us long for miracles. And Jesus’ perfect life, death on sinners’ behalf as the fulfillment of Passover, and His physical resurrection prove that He is willing and able to meet our greatest needs: complete forgiveness and a new heart to trust and follow Him as our living King. But even in the Bible, most of the journey with Jesus is lived in the moments between miracles. In this 50-day series, we’ll consider some of those moments leading up to the next great miracle in the New Testament: the fulfillment of Pentecost and the incredible growth of the Church.
What would you say to your closest friends if you knew they wouldn’t see you for a long time? “I love you”? “Take care of each other”? “Be careful”? All of those and other things are important, because those things are specific expressions of what we value and the level of our love for them. The Lord Jesus expressed His heart, too: discipleship. And to understand what Jesus means, we simply have to look at how He discipled – the very day-to-day process of love that we’re to live as husbands for our wives, parents for our children, and true friends for others the Lord has placed in our lives.
We are to initiate relationship and receive those who come to us. We’re to spend regular time with them so they can know us and see us serve others. We’re to answer their hard questions, which often means skirting their surface statement and talking about their heart concerns. We’re to love them, confront them, forgive them, and commit to them.
We’re to point them to Jesus.
All these may seem very clear, but too often we read the Great Commission at the end of Matthew’s Gospel as a call to give money for someone else to make disciples or for us to teach Sunday school or a Wednesday night Bible study or at least attend with fellow faithful believers. We forget that Jesus’ core twelve disciples often had more doubts than faith, more questions than confidence, and more struggles than spiritual strength.
Discipleship is messy, and, of course, it’s much more than I’ve listed above, but we’ll cover some of those in the next few days. Still, each of our earthly messes is exactly where Jesus showed us His heavenly grace and power. So go forth in that strangely exciting expectation. For the Lord loves that journey of love for others. It’s still His love for us.
I hope today’s thought and others in this series will be helpful to you as you journey with Jesus in the moments between miracles.