Saturday, April 12, 2014

HE didn’t give up on them…

JESUS' three closest friends had major character flaws and HE didn't give up on them.  Peter, James and John were JESUS' best friends.  They were HIS inner circle. 

Mark 10 kind of gives us a synopsis of the case in point.  JESUS and the disciples were walking to Jerusalem and they had to stop off at a Samaritan Hilton for the evening.  JESUS sent a couple of them ahead and once the Samaritans realized who was coming to town (JESUS and the disciples were kind of a hot item at this point) they didn't want to have anything to do with them. 

They said, “You guys can't come.”  So they came back and James and John were the first two to receive the news and James and John walked up to JESUS and said, "Should we call down fire from heaven?"  These were not gentle guys. 

Then James and John's mom comes to JESUS one day and said, "JESUS, I want you to guarantee that my sons will set at your right and left hand, the two places of honor."  These guys were arrogant; Mom was a little off too.  They had major character flaws. 

And Peter, Peter was always talking out of turn, always rushing into things, impulsive, always sticking his foot in his mouth. It was Peter who cut off the high priest's servant's ear in the Garden of Gethsemene when they came to take JESUS away.  It was Peter who denied JESUS three times.  It was Peter who pushed through, past John into the tomb.  It's no wonder in Luke 9:41, JESUS said "How much longer do I have to put up with you guys." 

Do you ever feel like that, Moms, with toddlers running around the house?  Do you ever feel like that, parents, of junior high students?  Do you ever feel like that, dads, of free spirited daughters or rebellious sons?  Do you ever feel like just giving up, just can't take it any more?

But there's hope.  The same thing that enabled JESUS to stick it out with the disciples is exactly the same thing that we can utilize to help us as well.  It's this. 

JESUS saw the power of their potential.  And JESUS knew that as they would give HIM control over their personalities, as they would be realistic and honest about character defects in their lives that GOD could change, they would become powerful for the kingdom of GOD. 

And that's exactly what happened if you look at history.  These three men became the three pillars of CHRISTianity.  JESUS didn't give up.  They were a little raw at first, but HE hung in there.

Just a thought from the front porch…

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