STILL SEEKING THE KINGDOM
I am struck with the thoughts this morning of the motivation of the apostles that would cause them, move them, to leave all to follow Jesus. No doubt there was something that they believed of him that was extraordinary to get them to walk away from everything they had built and been raised to be.
And yet, all through the course of their discipleship they did not understand, they struggled to see, they reacted in the wrong spirit, they manifested little or no faith, they did great things themselves and gloried in the results. But, it was at the core of their continuance as they repeatedly argued over who was the greatest and who would lead when the time came. That night as they sat at supper with him, it was there. Even at the ascension they were questioning the restoration of the kingdom.
They had one thing that drove them from the carnal standpoint that they had not been delivered from even then. That was their superior mentality. The right to be free and do as they pleased and rule over others. Their need to be delivered from all enemies and had thought that Jesus was the ticket to that continued to plague them. I marvel at this underlying self seeking mentality even in them. And yet, it helps me to understand how some, maybe I, have continued to seek my own gain and profess leaving it. Why the perpetual draw and desire to look back still allures.
This is incredible in the regenerate soul that fights with this old self nature. And yet, I see it more now than ever. I see it in the comments of Peter and others during the Lord's ministry. I marvel at his patience with such. I hear his magnificent love in his prayer and anticipation of Peter's conversion for strength of the brethren.
There is the thinking of following Jesus that lives in rags and homeless, standing on the streets talking to any and all of 'go alone to get along'. Never resisting the daily struggles and condoning all opinions and knowing that it will all work out in the end, because God has a purpose in this all. To tell the truth, such makes me sick.
Then there is the image of Jesus turning over tables and running merchants out of the temple, looking about the crowd in anger, instructing the apostles to buy swords, and when the time came to fight for self, did not. He just gave in, so it appeared, when the challenge came. What absolute confusion this must have caused to explode in these disciples minds.
The do for others mentality is beyond human reason. And for some reason today the thought that some of what might have made Peter and the others so willing to leave and go was some twisted idea yet in their heads that this one who could fill a boat with fish and walk on water could make things better for them and make them powerful as well, helps me to know that even there Jesus did not just wipe out their minds and rule them with uncontrollable power to follow.
This strangely clears the fog and condemns the heart to see him patiently lead and teach. He didn't expect immediate results, but did require obedience. He did not drive, but lead. He planted the seed and left it to grow. Even when he ascended they were not ready to go. But, later would. Makes me see in shame that those that change coats to look better still are the same man within. It is horrible to see that you can believe and yet do not. Wow, how deceitful the heart is. How devilish the old man remains.
And yet, this raises Jesus to new heights of wonder in my mind that he did what he did for others, not himself. He taught how to defend others, but for their good surrender himself. No greater love ever manifest. How magnificent the view that He knows I'm not perfect here and patiently continues to lead on till the day I will be complete with him forever. Lord, praises be to your name. His mercy endureth to all generations forever. Amen.