Bible Passage For Meditation: Luke 6:12-19
Key Verse: “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.” Luke 6:12, 13
The task before Jesus was overwhelming. He had less than three and a half years left to walk this planet. How would He accomplish the overwhelming task of getting the gospel to the entire world? While Jesus, with all of heaven’s power behind Him, could have done anything, He focused on discipling others to do the ministry, rather than trying to reach everyone Himself.
In my work for the church, it’s tempting to try to do all the work myself. That way I won’t have to ask people to do something they don’t want to do, and it also means that the job gets done the way I want it to be done. But when I look at Jesus’ example in ministry, I realize I need to invest more time and energy in training and equipping others for ministry.
So the first big question to ask is this: how did Jesus choose those in whom to invest His precious time in discipling? Did He choose the twelve most promising prospects, the most influential, the most talented? Obviously not. He chose illiterate fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot (whose mission would normally have been to kill the traitorous tax collector), and a dishonest financier, just to name a few. Surely you and I could have made better choices, right? But are we wiser than Jesus? How did Jesus know to choose these twelve as apostles?
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:12, 13).
Did you catch that? It was through an all-night season of earnest prayer that Jesus was given wisdom as to whom He should choose as the first laborers in the great work.
As I reflect on Jesus’ example, I’m challenged by the question, “Am I wiser than Jesus?” The obvious answer is no. But how often have I prayed all night about a decision, or about tomorrow’s ministry tasks? (Not often enough!) How earnest am I even today in seeking heavenly wisdom?
When I allow prayerlessness to dominate my life, it reveals that I actually have more self-confidence than Jesus did. If the Son of God on earth needed so much time in prayer to know how to disciple others, then how much more time in prayer do we need to gain a clear understanding of the Father’s mission for our ministry of discipleship?
Let’s follow His example in earnestly asking God to show us how to make disciples!
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Precious Father in heaven, as we consider this upcoming General Conference Session, I again ask that You would forgive us of our arrogance, our pride, our constant dependence on ourselves. Please give us the wisdom You have freely promised (James 1:5). Please give us an earnestness in prayer and unwillingness to move forward in our own understanding. Thank You for waiting patiently for us to call upon You. Help us to see that the work will never be accomplished without following in Jesus’ example of fervent prayer and of intentional discipleship. Thank You, Lord, for giving us heavenly wisdom to disciple others!
By Zac Page
(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)
“He frequently continued His petitions through the entire night. He is our example. If we could remember this, and imitate Him, we would be much stronger in God. . . . If the Saviour of men, with His divine strength, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of prayer—fervent, constant prayer!” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 2, p. 202).