I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I read the Gospels I feel a slight frustration because I want to know what happened next to the people who come briefly into the limelight with Jesus. I want to know how their encounter with Him has changed their lives. For example, the servants at the wedding at Cana: they acted in obedience to Jesus’ instruction to take the jars, filled as they believed with water, to the host, only to discover that, somewhere along the way, the water had changed miraculously to wine; or the little boy, whose picnic fed five thousand people; or the man with the paralysed hand, whom Jesus healed on the Sabbath, much to the anger of the Pharisees.
Each one of them had a life-changing experience, but then what happened? Did the servants go home and tell all their friends and family, or did they just go on serving as if nothing had happened? Did the little boy rush back home filled with excitement and tell all the other children in his village, or did he just take it for granted, as children sometimes do. And what of the man with the withered hand? Did he put that hand to good use, or did he think that because it was newly restored, he’d better look after it and wrap it up carefully and carry it about in a sling?
What happens to us when we have had an encounter with Jesus? Is the experience life-changing? Do we rush home and tell everyone about it or do we take it a bit for granted? Or, worst of all, do we wrap it up in secret to protect and preserve it? Had the man with the withered hand in reality done that, his hand would probably soon have returned to its withered state, and with us, too, if we try to preserve our experience, the memory of it will gradually fade and wither and die.
Our life-changing encounter should be just that: life changing! It should put a longing in our hearts to serve our Lord to the very best of our ability, to stir us to do our very best for our King, not to earn His approval, because we already have that, but out of our love for Him and all that He has done for us. Jesus called His disciples to follow Him, which implies that He is going somewhere and He wants them to go with Him. If we, His modern day disciples, are still in the same place as we were when He first called us, He has moved on and left us behind. Let today be the day when we make a fresh start in serving our King in whatever way He has called us.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for calling me to be Your disciple. I feel as though I have got left behind a bit. Please help me to catch up with what You are doing and wanting me to do in my life. Amen.
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