Missing the mark…



Scripture: John 11:(Jesus) said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?”… 16 Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Observation: Things were starting to get dangerous for Jesus, and by extension, for his disciples. Their confrontations with the religious authorities grew more intense, to the point that the disciples feared for Jesus’ life – and their own. Jesus could not be persuaded to avoid danger, so his disciples accepted their fate, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Yet, in the end, their loyalty faltered. They would not die with him, but would abandon him in his hour of greatest need.

Application: It would appear the disciples failed to live up to their own expectations of themselves. I can relate. I expect myself to be patient, to be understanding, to be non-anxious, to be disciplined. And when I fall short of these expectations I can be pretty hard on myself. Know what I mean?

But there’s more to the story of Jesus and his disciples isn’t there? Yes, Jesus’ disciples let him down, but Jesus never gave up on them. And despite their many flaws, he used them to lay a foundation for Christianity that has endured for thousands of years. Which reminds me of an important principle:

Our God is all about using flawed people to accomplish his purposes. 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, this morning we are reminded how your first disciples were far from perfect. They repeatedly missed the mark. They let you down. They let themselves down. Yet you used them to do remarkable things in your name. Give us grace to have hope in your mighty power, even when we fall short of expectations. We ask this in your holy name. Amen.

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