February 1, 2023 — Moving On From One Group to the Next

“The other day,” Stan commented, “I was reading in Luke’s gospel about when Jesus had appointed the twelve apostles and I saw a reflection of my faith walk.”

“As an apostle?” I asked somewhat skeptically.

“Oh, no,” Stan replied. “No, I’m not an apostle. But I was and am a part of some of the other groups that are mentioned.”

“What groups?”

“Let’s take a quick look at what was going on,” Stan replied. “Jesus had been on the mountain praying all night, seeking the Father’s will about appointing the apostles. In the morning, He called twelve disciples and named them as the apostles.”

“Okay,” I replied. “Then what?”

“When Jesus and the twelve came down from the mountain, there were two groups of people there to greet them.”

“What two groups?”

“Luke writes there was a ‘great multitude of His disciples’ and a ‘great throng of people’ who had come to hear Jesus,” Stan replied. “Along with those two groups which were mentioned, there with a third group that isn’t mentioned. In my mind, all of those groups are a reflection of me and my faith walk.”

“How so?” I said. “And what’s the third group that Luke doesn’t mention?”

“Let’s start with that group,” Stan replied. “That’s the group of all of the people who weren’t there. The ones who weren’t interested in seeing and hearing Jesus. That’s the group I was in for a long time.”

“No interest in seeing or hearing Jesus?”

“That’s it,” Stan said. “That’s the group I was in, but, thankfully, that changed and I moved on to one of the other groups before joining the one that’s the most important.”

“How so?” I asked.

“It says there was a great throng of people who had come to hear Jesus,” Stan replied. “That was me. I eventually wanted to hear what Jesus had to say. Then I moved on.”

“Moved on? To where?””

“To the group Luke describes as the ‘great multitude of disciples’,” Stan replied. “After I heard what Jesus had to say, I came to faith, and then I moved on to being a disciple.”

“Seems to me,” he continued, “that’s the path that God intends for each one of us.”

“Go from being uninterested, to wanting to hear Jesus, to coming to faith, and then to being a disciple,” I said. “Is that it?”

“You got it, my friend,” Stan replied with a smile. “We are to be moving on from one group to the next.”


Bible verses to consider:

And He descended with them (the twelve apostles), and stood on a level place; and there was a great multitude of His disciples, and a great throng on people from all of Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear Hm, and to be healed  of their diseases; and  those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being healed. Luke 6:17-18.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-24.

Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus so that all who believe can have life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you for those who helped me want to hear what Jesus had to say so I could come to faith. Thank you, too, for your provision of discipleship so I can continually draw closer to you for as long as you keep me on this side of eternity. Please help me in being who and doing what you intend so I will help others move from having no interest in you to being disciples. I confess that too often I don’t do that. Please forgive me — and please help me follow your lead just as you intend. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Have you moved from having no interest in God to knowing you will spend eternity in His presence when it’s time? If no, why have you not accepted His free and gracious provision? Is it because you haven’t heard or because you haven’t responded in faith? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing with telling others about how they can move from having no interest in God to being disciples? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?

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