John 17 verses 6 - 8, The Bible
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
When reading John Chapter 1, I always wondered how the disciples could immediately give up everything they knew and follow Jesus when He called them. However, when reading the above verses, it became clear to me that the Holy Spirit was already at work within them, so that when He did call, they knew it was the Messiah calling them.
These twelve disciples gave everything that they had and followed Jesus with such devotion! Jesus did not walk around with a halo, but they could recognise something different in Him – something that pointed towards Him being the Messiah. The disciples were granted the privilege of watching Jesus perform astounding miracles. However, even during those times of amazement, there seemed to be a shadow which foretold times of testing for the disciples.
For example, when Jesus fed the five thousand men (women and children not included), he broke the fish and bread and handed it out to feed the hungry crowd, however, when each had had his fill, Jesus told the twelve disciples to each carry their own basket. This, to me, was always a strange request from Jesus.
But it later dawned on me that it could have been a symbolic action – because of how each of these men would suffer and even die, their bodies broken, like the fish and bread they were carrying. And their Master would also be broken and killed for their salvation. For us in India, the story of Thomas, the apostle is well-known, as he was hunted down and martyred here around CE 72. The other apostles were also martyred in different parts of the world.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Just as the disciples recognised the Messiah, let us come to Him today – knowing that no matter the cost, He will be with us, walking beside us daily – just like He did with the disciples, bringing us the strength we need to live for Him in the world around us. Let us remember that He has a purpose for each of us – however small or big it may be, and that He will grant us the grace to fulfil the plans He has for us and those we touch. Let us take up the cross daily and follow Him. When He walks beside us, His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30)
Johshy Tewes is a wife, mother and grandmother who lives in South India. She has dedicated most of her life to supporting her husband who is a missionary in India through offering mentorship, spiritual leadership and as a board advisor. She helped found a micro-finance institution to help poor women and is on the board of various well-known organisations. She is passionate about sharing what God is teaching her and standing in the gap through prayer.