Jesus selected the twelve to be with Him and to see His life and ministry up close. Together they experienced His trials, miracles, accolades, and rejection. They were sent out two by two to go to the villages.
They felt their own failures, successes, and questions. They heard His teachings and saw responses from all kinds of people.
Life imparted life.
The Jesus way of life, leadership, and ministry is “together.”
Jesus was a man of action and prayer. No one can miss His emphasis on prayer. Before He even began His public ministry, He spent forty days in the wilderness praying.
Prayer was part of His daily life and fellowship with the Father. His disciples were so curious that they requested, “Teach us to pray.”
His prayers were simple.
He asserted that one should not make a show of praying. He practiced it daily and at all times. He spent the whole night in prayer reviewing His selection of the twelve. The twelve were prayed for throughout their time with Jesus. We know Jesus’s recorded prayer in John 17 where He refers to them thirty-one times in verses 6 through 19.
Looking at the example Jesus provides for us, what can you and I learn about the power of prayer?
When was the last time you spent the whole night praying over an important decision? When was the last time you prayed fervently and faithfully over another person or situation?
Ask the Lord to teach you to pray.
When Jesus began His public ministry, He knew the end from the beginning. He knew His season of public ministry would be short. He knew when and how He would be sacrificed for the sins of the whole world. He was not hurried but moved and operated with purpose. He was intentional about developing disciples and leaders. Many followed Him, and He turned none away who sought the kingdom.
He knew leaders could not be mass produced but could be developed with intentional effort. So He chose twelve from among His many disciples to be leaders and began intentionally training and equipping them. They began the internal process of becoming kingdom leaders. Among the twelve He also gave special attention to the three – Peter, James, and John. This was not by accident.
Take a moment to ponder this: Jesus was not hurried but moved and operated with purpose. How do you move and operate in your daily life? In what way(s) is God challenging you when it comes to the principle of intentionality?
Jesus did not take the elite of the nation to be His followers nor existing leaders from the religious system. He took common laborers, small-business owners, a political activist, a national traitor collecting taxes for the oppressors, a doubter, and a thief. These were men from the villages rather than the big city.
They were not educated with significant degrees nor did any have wealth with the exception of perhaps Matthew because of his former tax-collecting career. He took the small, the least, and the little of this world and built a great following because of this powerful principle. He used the power of small to start with the twelve and through them built the church.
Something to ponder this week.