Over the course of a semester, we have covered disciples with differing personalities and from every walk of life. These men only have one thing in common: Jesus loves them and they love him.
Today, every one of us also has different characteristics and ways of life, but if we are believers in Christ, we also share this quality. Jesus loves us enough to sacrifice everything he has so that we may have life.
According to society, there are no ties that should unite people in the church. Everyone is from different backgrounds and families. Jesus chooses to break the walls of artificial unity as he brings people together for his service.
In God’s eyes, we are equals. He sees us the same regardless of our past mistakes, our occupations or our flaws.
John 13:1-5 shows Jesus in a humble act of service toward people who are of much lesser power than he is. As the last supper is coming to an end, Jesus is reflecting on his final moments on earth as he contemplates on the love he has for his friends.
John 13:1 says, “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” Jesus knows his death is coming, and he loves each of his followers enough to die in their stead.
The story goes on to tell about how Jesus kneels down and washes the feet of each disciple. These disciples have been at his side for three years. Jesus has seen their victories, their flaws and their growth. He is patient with them as they struggle to understand the purpose of their lives as followers of Christ. When they fall, Jesus picks them up.
That very night, Jesus, the disciples’ best friend and Lord, is betrayed, tortured and ultimately hung on a sinner’s cross. He rises from the grave and takes their sin upon his own shoulders. He defeats death and the grave and offers salvation to any lost soul who places their faith in him.
As decades pass after Jesus’ return to heaven, the disciples continue to live out their bold faith in Jesus’ name and by his strength. All but two of the disciples face martyrdom at the cost of Christ. They valiantly march to their deaths proclaiming the name of their Savior, the Savior of the world.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, humbles himself and comes to earth as a man. While here, he pours into 12 seemingly insignificant men. These men have changed the course of history.
Acts of the Apostles covers the lives of these disciples after Christ. There is a verse referring to other disciples, but the statement applies to the 12 disciples as well.
Acts 17:6-7 say, “And when [the mob] could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”
This verse talks about how the disciples “turned the world upside down.” The same men who are outcasts of society. The same men with no earthly belongings or formal education.
Little did they know that their “small” acts of faith and obedience for Christ and his kingdom would turn the world upside down. Little do we know how our “small” acts of obedience like those of the disciples can impact those around us, the world and the future.