One can land in just about any chapter of the Gospels and discover first hand what the twelve experienced with Jesus as they followed Him on a daily basis. It entails quite a different set of activities from what most of us modern disciples routinely experience.
Take a look at some of the things the disciples go through with Jesus in just a couple of pages (chapters 8 and 9) ...
- going through a storm and nearly losing their lives
- watching Jesus perform a miracle of calming the winds and sea
- coming out of the storm only to face demon-possessed men (fringe/marginal people)
- pigs running off a cliff and the locals traumatized
- people begging you to leave their region (being unwelcome)
- forgiving sins in Jesus Name (are we supposed to do this kind of thing?)
- healing paralytics (those unable to walk on their own)
- confronting religious opposition for doing what is good and right
- identifying with sinners and outcasts of society (the non-church folks)
- calling on sinners to leave what they are doing and follow Christ
- going to a party, eating/drinking with non-followers of Christ
- being given a lesson on mercy and what that means by seeing it first hand
- being questioned about religious practices and traditions and answering
- healing a sick woman
- raising a dead child
- healing the blind
- driving out more demons
- going from town to town teaching in synagogues
- preaching Good News of the Kingdom
- healing every disease and sickness
- having compassion for the crowds
- instructing disciples to pray for laborers
- pointing out the abundant harvest to disciples
I am struck that these first followers of Christ spent so much time healing the sick and demon possessed. Yes, there is also the preaching, teaching element of discipleship, but a lot of time was spent healing and ministering to the sick and oppressed.
How much of my time is spent in these kinds of activities? How much of the above list would characterize my own walk as a follower of Jesus?
How about your own?