Know Him: Team Jesus and the Journey
Read Luke 6:13-16
When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Jesus spends the entire night praying to the Heavenly Father, and then He chooses the twelve--ordinary men with different backgrounds. None was theologically trained or part of the official religious leadership in Israel. In Jesus' eyes, this is the perfect mix and the right choice to spread the gospel after He leaves. Matthew, the tax collector, is considered a traitor to his country, while Simon the Zealot belongs to an organization that wants to kill all traitors. The twelve men make an interesting combination, but the love of Jesus breaks down all barriers and teaches them to work with one another and to love one another.
Jesus now begins His famous Sermon on the Mount, considered by many scholars to be history's greatest teaching. Our Savior starts off by saying how blessed we are if we're poor, hungry, weeping, and even hated because of Him. In fact, He says if we are insulted because of Him, "rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great if [our] reward in heaven." In other words, if we're really letting Jesus be Lord, our rewards won't always come through outward situations. But we can have the peace, the love, and the joy of the Holy Spirit bubbling up and overflowing inside us, something that no amount of money can buy. All that, plus the eternal rewards in heaven. On the other hand, if we're still chasing after the world, its riches, its superficial happiness, and its fame, we may get what we want--but that's all. There'll be no eternal life and no inner peace. In fact, Jesus says such people will be unhappy. Not only that, but they will miss out on eternity. After their worldly pride and fun wears off, the things they valued will become completely worthless.
Lord, help me to find satisfaction in You--not from the world. Amen. Ask Him to help you live by faith.