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Go and See
by Pastor Jeff Morlock
The first disciples of Jesus had this in common with each other and with us; they were not enough. It’s popular these days for advertisers to lie to us and tell us otherwise. They insist that you and I are worthy and deserving and the captains of our own destiny. But deep down we know better. We routinely fail to measure up to our own ideals, much less God’s.
It comforts me, then, that these twelve followers of Jesus were totally unqualified by human standards. Peter, James, and John were apparently rejected as students of other local rabbis. It was the desire of every young Hebrew man to be discipled to a teacher of the law. Those who weren’t bright enough went into their father’s business, in this case, fishing. These brothers failed to make the cut. Just like me. And you. As sinful human beings, we don’t have what it takes to please God or accomplish great things for the kingdom. Instead of confessing this, though, we tend to deny our human limitations. And we hop on the treadmill of works and righteousness, trying harder and harder to prove that we are worthy. But getting nowhere.
Yet, God does not call the qualified. He qualifies the called. He sends broken, sinful people to proclaim good news, heal the sick, and raise the dead because they themselves have first been raised, healed, and made whole. In 2 Corinthians 3:5, St. Paul reflects, "Not that we were competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." Without this understanding, we would be hesitant and fearful to attempt the kinds of things Jesus sent his first apostles (sent ones) to do. Because, what if we failed? What would people think?
However, we are free to risk what Jesus asks of us, because in him we are accepted. In him, we are commissioned. In him, we are enough. Those who believe and are baptized have Christ’s authority to bring the kingdom to bear in our neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces. We are not responsible for success, because it is his mission. Hence, Jesus’ instructions. Take no purse, no bag. no sandals. “Go!” he said. Go and see that Christ is Provider. Go and see that he alone is Teacher, Healer, and Resurrector. We are but vessels of his grace and power. Filled and poured out and filled again for the sake of this world that he loves. Go and see!
Cup Prayer : This prayer will help you pour your heart out to God (Ps. 62:8). Begin with your hands folded together like an upside-down cup. Pour out before God all your fears, anxieties, guilt, sin, and shame. Tell Him what troubles you. Take time to be specific. When you feel like you’ve poured out your heart, flip your hands over, folding them like an open cup, ready to receive from God. Sit in silence, asking God simply to fill you with His Spirit. If your mind runs back to sin, shame, anxiety, or concerns of the day, flip your hands back over and pour it out to the Lord. When you are finished praying, read today’s Scripture and listen as God shares His heart back with you.