Peter, John, Thomas, Judas.
These are four of the disciples for whom the Bible gives us many fascinating details of their lives. After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the first three men were radically transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit to become leaders of the early Christian church; they led lives worthy for all of us to emulate and follow. But prior to this, they exhibited faults that many of us will readily identify. During certain times of Jesus’ ministry, each of these men put their own goals or fears ahead of Jesus.
Peter placed his own fears ahead of identifying himself as a disciple of Jesus, frightened that he would be beaten and tortured like Jesus, if he revealed his relationship. John placed his pride and selfish ambitions ahead of Jesus’ mission as he asked to sit at a place of honor when Jesus established His kingdom. Thomas doubted the truth and power of the Resurrection even though his fellow disciples testified to the truth. And Judas put his greedy desire for money over Jesus’ offer of salvation.
Fear, pride, doubt, greed.
Each of these character traits led the disciples to deny or doubt Jesus Christ. Sadly, too often, I exhibit these same traits in my relationship with my Lord, Jesus Christ. There are times when fear seizes me and I am hesitant to speak up to defend the name of Jesus. My pride and ego focus upon my accomplishments instead of using my talents to further God’s Kingdom. During difficult times, I may doubt the power of God to cause all things to work together for good. And how many times have I made a decision to purchase something purely to satisfy a carnal need instead of focusing upon how the purchase will glorify God?
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Only through the redeeming mercy and grace of God the Father and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit am I able to allow God to transform and renew my mind into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. I seek to follow the examples of the disciples after they received the power of the Holy Spirit and understood who Jesus Christ really was. He is God incarnate! And I should live a life empowered through God’s Holy Spirit rather than weakened and downtrodden by my own fears and goals.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.