I really love the fellowship that we experience in our Monday night bible studies. We are able to share pain and joy, ask and answer questions, help each other grow in the Lord.
This morning, driving to work, in my time spent with God, I listened to a sermon by John MacArthur. His sermon addressed some things that we discussed last night, and I thought that God might be answering some questions that were brought up during the study.
As a matter of fact, MacArthur directly quoted a scripture that we talked about!
Two things stood out in my mind last night and were addressed in one way or another in MacArthur’s sermon; one was our expectations of heaven and the other was our “fleshness”.
In the 10th chapter of Mark, the disciples, James and John asked Jesus to allow them a place of honor in heaven, to sit on the right and the left of Him. Jesus asks them if they can drink of the cup He must drink and be baptized with the baptism He must endure and they say they can. So He tells them that they will experience these things, but it isn’t up to Him to allow them to sit beside Him. The other disciples get angry with John and James, not because they are indignant that the two were not being humble, but that the two were trying to “jump ahead” of the other ten for a place of authority. Jesus then calms them down and explains that the greatest of them must be the servant of all and that even He came to serve, not to be served, and that he came to give up His life for us.
This passage addresses so many different issues, but to my point this morning, it shows us that we won’t all be equally rewarded in heaven, though I’m sure we will be equally loved. But it also addresses our behavior here on earth…now.
Jesus called these ordinary men, with ordinary “flesh” to do an extraordinary job. He accepted and trained them with their human frailties. He trained, and re-trained them to do the work He had laid out for them. And quite often, they fell short because of their human-ness.
To Thomas in John 14:9 Jesus says, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Phillip?”
To Peter in Mark 8:33 “….Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
My point here, is that these great men of the gospel often tried Jesus’ patience. He was with them daily and still He had to constantly reinforce the teachings that He was trying to get through to them. This gives me hope when I fail Him. Jesus knows my heart and the love I have for Him but He also knows that I am human and I often fall far short of the mark I want to hit.