No way I can do that job….
Over the last couple of weeks at youth, we have been spending time in our Christmas series called "More Gifts" as we look at the miracles Jesus performed in the gospel of John. In the gospel of John, we see these seven miracles that Jesus performs. It all starts with the wedding where Jesus turns water into wine; this was the start of Jesus's ministry on Earth. The question proposed to the youth was, "Turning water to wine started the ministry of Jesus, but when did the ministry of Jesus end?" The answer given the most was after he had risen and left Earth. It was exciting that we got to let them know that it was a trick question. The ministry of Jesus has not ended, and we get to be a part of it. Jesus is still working through us.
Good news is that when Jesus left Earth, we were empowered to carry on the ministry; this can also seem like a big task, to follow Jesus. We heard a couple of teenagers at youth express their nerves about this; following Jesus seems like a tough job. Who gets to be a part of this ministry? Who does Jesus want to use? These are all questions we hear, and I am sure these are questions you have asked yourself. The answer is everyone. Jesus can use everyone. Many of us will look at the disciples and think there's no way we can do what they did, but when we look closer at the disciples, they were very far from perfect. But this shows us Jesus takes anyone and everyone and can use them in special ways. Let's look at a few of the disciples. The apostle Thomas has maybe one of the worst nicknames ever, Doubting Thomas. This is a man who walked with Jesus and saw all that he had done yet still struggled to believe and have faith without seeing. Peter denied Jesus, Judas betrayed him, and there are times when Jesus requests them to keep praying, and they keep falling asleep. Even though those Jesus chose to be closest to him were not perfect and messed up often, Jesus still chose them and wanted them to do the work with him. Just like the disciples, we are not perfect, but we have to remember that Jesus can form us while we are on a mission. We all have special gifts that Jesus can use to continue his ministry that, started with his miracle at the wedding, turning water into wine.
The disciples were still with Jesus; of course, there were amazing things happening. This is a statement I have heard from many, but there is something important for us to remember: the spirit of Jesus that changed water to wine, that raised Lazarus from the dead, that made lame men walk, that rose from the dead, is the same spirit that was left to live inside us. Think about the movie Space Jam; those poor tiny little aliens were supposed to play basketball against Michael Jordan; how in the world can they do that. The reason they were able to play well is because they took the powers of other good basketball players; it gave them power and confidence, and without those powers, they couldn't do anything. We are able to have the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of us; if we believe that it's the same spirit that defeated death, then how confident we should be that we are capable of being the hands and feet of Jesus, he can and will work through you.
It is up to us to take some ownership in carrying the ministry of Jesus forward in partnership with the spirit; what are your skills, talents, and gifts? Who in your life needs you to show them the love of Jesus? What miracle are you or the people around you needing, the spirit of God is within us, and God is more than capable of doing anything we can think of.
Pray big prayers and dream big….. Ephesians 3:20 NIV
"Now to him who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us."
Pastor Clay Wilson