Have you ever thought about some of the bizarre things Jesus asked His disciples to do?
Some examples include, Jesus asking the disciples to: bring Him five loaves and two fish to feed a crowd, walk on water, throw a net into the sea where they had been fishing for hours and knew there were no fish, let Him wash their feet.
I sincerely cannot imagine how strange these requests in real time really were?!
Last night we were reading a passage about Palm Sunday. In Matthew 21:1-11 it reads,
"As they approached Jerusalem...Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet...
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them."
It may seem normal that Jesus asked the disciples to go and get a donkey from a nearby town, but trouble could have very easily come from it. The disciples were in essence stealing a donkey and its colt...from a stranger.
Yet, the word says plainly, they obeyed. No questions asked.
Maybe all of the preceding weird requests with positive results while walking with Jesus gave them faith for this task, them believing He was who He said He was and acting out of that.
Yes, in today’s time things are different. Jesus does not speak in an audible voice to us, but we have the Holy Spirit living in our hearts and we have the word of God, a 2,000 page book of words that the Holy Spirit had men write down for us.
He is speaking to us now, asking us to do things that may also seem bazaar, but are we listening? And even if we hear, will we have the faith like the disciples to simply obey?
The disciples had zero idea that Jesus would turn a boys five loaves and two fish into food for 5,000 with twelve baskets left over. Peter wouldn't have dreamed there was a chance Jesus could enable him to walk on water. The disciples couldn’t have fathomed that throwing a net into the sea where they had been fishing for hours and knew there were no fish, would result in them being unable to haul in the enormous about of loot....enough to almost sink their ship. And lastly, the disciples, most likely horrified at the sight of Jesus washing their feet had no foreknowledge that this small yet profound act would symbolize two monumental spiritual teachings, spiritual cleansing of the heart and servant leadership, for the next thousands of years.
What is it that stops us from obeying? For me it’s usually fear. Fear of what people will think. Fear of appearing self righteous. Fear of losing some dignity. But, when I stand before Jesus one day in heaven, the fear excuse is going to seem so insignificant. We have such a short time on earth to obey and yet an eternity with Jesus to reap the benefits.
The disciples who Jesus asked to go and fetch the donkey in the passage above would not have been believed that their act of obedience was a piece of what we now call the beginning of Holy Week and would somewhat set off a domino of events that would lead to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus---the saving of the whole world.
If God can extraordinarily accomplish His will through the disciples basic obedience, can He not through ours as well? Even if we never see on earth what our obedience: our good attitudes, our waiting well, our reaching out and loving on our neighbor or co worker accomplishes, one day we will know. One day He promises we will see it was all worth it.
What simple act of obedience is Jesus asking you to do today and what is stopping you? What has He spoken in the secret places of your heart through His word that you need to have faith to obey Him in today?
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!
You did not choose me, but I chose you and set you apart to go and bear fruit.
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.