Love, its power and authority, always gets there first, comes to believe first, and always waits for the others, especially the leaders, to catch up! This is the reality of what happened among the disciples and the community of the Beloved Disciple, John, and those closest to Jesus, called His friends. They mature and develop differently from other disciples, and the community of the Church has to struggle with the fact that the last one anyone thought would be the leader was the one who betrayed Him and contributed to the dissolution of the disciples when Jesus was arrested and crucified.
He will be the best Christian who has Christ for his Master, and truly follows Him. Some are disciples of the church, others are disciples of the minister, and a third sort are disciples of their own thoughts; he is the wise man who sits at Jesus' feet and learns of Him, with the resolve to follow His teaching and imitate His example. He who tries to learn of Jesus Himself, taking the very words from the Lord's own lips, binding himself to believe whatsoever the Lord hath taught and to do whatsoever He hath commanded-he I say, is the stable Christian.
At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and he was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned Him to be crucified to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that He had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that He was alive.
The key to the missionary's work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say that the lost will never be saved if we don't go- He simply says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...."
The disciples had nothing to gain by lying and starting a new religion. They faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyr's deaths. In light of this, they could never have sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie. The disciples were not fools and Paul was a cool-headed intellectual of the first rank. There would have been several opportunities over three to four decades of ministry to reconsider and renounce a lie.
My name should not be made prominent. It is my ideas that I want to see realized. The disciples of all the prophets have always inextricably mixed up the ideas of the Master with person, and at last killed the ideas for the person. The disciples of Sri Ramakrishna must guard against doing the same thing. Work for the idea, not the person.
Paraphrased: When Chuang Tzu was about to die, his disciples began planning a splendid funeral. However some disciples expressed concern that given a particular arrangement, birds and kites would eat his remains. Chuang Tzu replied, "Well, above ground I shall be eaten by crows and kites, below it by ants and worms. What do you have against birds?
Disciples will not be weakened by suffering, worn down, and embittered until they are broken. Instead, they bear suffering, by the power of him who supports them. The disciples bear the suffering laid on them only by the power of him who bears all suffering on the cross. As bearers of suffering, they stand in communion with the Crucified.
What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness. Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots and wandered into a far county. Yet, they kept coming back to Jesus.
Peter's denial was not just a personal weakness. He was in a leadership position, honored as the one who spoke for the group, and was second in command (when Jesus wasn't around). But his choice to publicly deny his place in the community at the side of Jesus had massive repercussions for the other disciples. They ran and hid, and from this point on in the Way of the Cross there is no mention of the disciples again in the Passion narrative. The sheep are scattered, routed, and demoralized. Peter's sin tore open the seems that held them together.
The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.
O you who believe! Be supporters of Allah, as Jesus son of Mary said to the disciples, "Who are my supporters towards Allah?" The disciples said, "We are Allah's supporters." So a group of the Children of Israel believed, while another group disbelieved. We supported those who believed against their foe, so they became dominant.
What I notice, as a historian reading stories about so-called nature miracles, the walking on the water, or the miraculous catch of fishes, they're done especially for the insiders, for the disciples. Usually healings and exorcisms are done for people along the road, as it were. Jesus doesn't come on the water to save the fishing fleet from Capernaum, he comes on the water to save the disciples. It's a parable, dummy, it's a parable, don't you get it? If the leadership of the church takes off in a boat without Jesus, it will sink, it will get nowhere.
John Dominic Crossan
Teach me your way of looking at people: as you glanced at Peter after his denial, as you penetrated the heart of the rich young man and the hearts of your disciples. I would like to meet you as you really are, since your image changes those with whom you come into contact. Remember John the Baptist's first meeting with you? And the centurion's feeling of unworthiness? And the amazement of all those who saw miracles and other wonders? How you impressed your disciples, the rabble in the Garden of Olives, Pilate and his wife and the centurion at the foot of the cross... I would like to hear and be impressed by your manner of speaking, listening, for example, to your discourse in the synagogue in Capharnaum or the Sermon on the Mount where your audience felt you 'taught as one who has authority.
I don't want my kids safe and comfortable. I want them BRAVE. ... I don't want to be the reason my kids choose safety over courage. I hope I never hear them say, 'Mom will freak out,' or 'My parents will never agree to this.' May my fear not bind their purpose here. Scared moms raise scared kids. Brave moms raise brave kids. Real disciples raise real disciples.
Sermon of the Mounts Matthew 5 AND SEEING THE MULTITUDES, HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAINS, AND WHEN HE WAS SET, HIS DISCIPLES CAME UNTO HIM. The multitudes, the masses, the crowd, is the lowest state of consciousness. It is a deep ignorance and sleep. If you want to relate and communicate with the masses, you have to come down to their level. That is why whenever you go into the masses, the crowd, you start to feel suffocated. This suffocation is physical and psychological, beacuse you relate to people, who functions from a very low state of consciousness. They pull you down and you become physically and psychologically tired and drained. That is why a need for meditation and aloneness arises. There is a practice in the life of Jesus that he noves into the crowds of people, but after a few months he goes to the mountains. He goes away from the crowd, to be with God. When you are alone, you are with God. To relate to the masses brings you down to their level of consciousness, but only in the presence of God, you can fly. With the crowd, you can not fly, you become crippled, and the masses will not tolerate if you do not live according to them, according to their level of consciousness. To be able to work with the masses, to be able to help them, you have to relate to them according to their level fo consciousness - and this is tiring and draining. Both Jesus and Buddha moved to the mounatins, to a lonely place, just to be themselves, and to be with God to regain their vitality to be able to come back to the masses where people are thristy. The montain is where Jesus do not need to think about the masses, where he can forget the mind and the body. In that moment of aloneness and meditation, one simply is. This is the inner being, the source of life. And when you are full again, you can share again. AND WHEN HE WAS SET, HIS DISCIPLES CAME UNTO HIM. To talk to the masses and to talk to disciples is two very different things. To talk to the crowd is to talk to people, who are indifferent. The crowd is resisting, defensive and argumentative. To talk to disciples means to talk to people, who have a basic thirst. It means that they are not defensive, they are open to listen to the heart of truth. AND HE OPENED HIS MOUTH, AND TAUGHT THEM, SAYING. Jesus escaped into the mountains from the crowd, but he did not escape from the disciples. He was available to the disciples. In his aloneness, Jesus is with God. And through Jesus, the disciples can feel God. The closer the disciple come to Jesus, the more they will see that Jesus is a silence and emptiness through which God can sing. And the more the disciple himself will become an emptiness, he will also be able to help other people. AND HE OPENED HIS MOUTH, AND TAUGHT THEM, SAYING. BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD. This is the most fundamental statement of Jesus. With this statement, Jesus has said everything. The "poor in spirit" is exactly what Buddha means with the term Shunyatta - "emptiness", no-self, nothingness. It is when the ego disappears, and you are a nobody, a silence. If you are a nobody, if you are nothing, you are God.
Swami Dhyan Giten