So do you really want someone like me?

Let’s look back at the little pow-wow, Jesus eye-to-eye with Thomas in what was undoubtedly an intense and intimate dialogue between a teacher and his student. In the Bible, it’s found in John 14:5-6.

What we know about Thomas from Biblical context is this: “We discover from the story of Thomas that he was sincerely pledged to His master, and yet he fought with uncertainties and questions.” – taken from biblestudytools.com

Thomas was asking how he could know the way to follow Jesus where he was going. It seems that Thomas as well as the others with Jesus were somewhat insecure students! If you’re even a little bit like Thomas in your faith, underneath the spoken question you might be thinking but not verbalizing other feelings. Perhaps one of them is “So do you really want someone like me following you?” The next article will address another unspoken question Thomas might’ve been thinking. And remember, everything – all the dialogue, all the people mentioned, everything – in scripture has specific application to believers today. Put yourself in the shoes of Thomas. Let’s spend some time on these unspoken questions since we all most likely have similar uncertainties and insecurities ourselves.

Who Jesus calls

You may be surprised who Jesus calls to be His students. While Jesus was living in the early first century, His “class” was made up of simple folks with problems, weaknesses and faults of their own. They had all the baggage from battered lives and the scars from internal battles fought. Just the kind of folks to whom Jesus gravitated! He had no interest in their outward qualifications or credentials, or even their past failures, foibles or flaws. These things had absolutely no bearing on what really mattered – their desperate need for Him.

He’s still calling wounded, weary people with childlike faith today that recognize their need for him and are simply willing to seek a better way. He is drawn to you, friend. And He longs for you to be drawn to Him, to come sit at the feet of the Master Teacher.

“When I finally reach the edge of my need and know my own limitations, then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (Matthew 5:11). But I must get to that point. God cannot put into me… the nature that was in Jesus Christ unless I am aware of my need for it.” – Oswald Chambers

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” – written by the Apostle Paul in a letter to the body of believers in the city of Corinth, Corinthians 1:26-29

Your place in God’s family

Let’s go back to Jesus with His original inner circle (including Thomas), but much earlier in their relationship. Jesus was teaching, encouraging and preparing these needy followers in one of the most profound discourses He ever spoke regarding their willingness to follow Him. Here’s a brief introduction to it from The Expositor’s Bible Commentary:

“Here Jesus stands at the height of his popularity. Although his ministry touched the masses, he saw the need to teach his ‘disciples’ closely,… His words are just as applicable for Christ followers today as they were when they rolled off of His divine tongue as the Son of God briefly wrapped in humanity on this earth. Those who especially wanted to attach themselves to him, Jesus takes aside to instruct.” – Expositor’s Bible Commentary

This discourse, entitled “The Beatitudes,” can be found in the Gospel of Matthew, in chapters 5:1-12:

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said: 
‘You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family...”
– Matthew 5:1-10, The Message Bible

The Teacher’s heart

This rendering of The Beatitudes passage beautifully portrays the heart of the Master Teacher for people that surely doubted their worthiness, while He saw through all of that to their desperate willingness. It’s encouraging to recognize that even those closest to Jesus had their deep uncertainties in life, making them all the more willing to follow Him.

One of the keys to following Jesus dramatically affecting everything else is that desperate hunger – an inner-life willingness and response that takes precedence over all external outer-life conditions. Did you find that one in the passage? It refers to your “inside world” – your heart and mind. Throughout the coming pages we’ll often refer to this inner-life willingness. We’ll also refer to this inner life as your “secret place.”

“Jesus’s message in the sermon is that God is our Father who sees and cares about the heart, not just external righteous deeds and religion.” – Jonathan Pennington

So Jesus is calling you. Do you think you’re ready? Read on (click the link below at the right).

Key takeaways:
1. Jesus calls believers regardless of status or merit that humbly recognize their need for Him.
2. The Biblical passage of The Beatitudes was primarily addressing His closest students known as the twelve apostles to underscore the most desirable conditions for discipleship.
3. A key condition of a disciple is an inner-life willingness and responsiveness toward Jesus.

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