My biggest love language is words of affirmation which makes it a constant battle to not find my worth in what people say about me, but in what Christ says about me. I remember after a conference I spoke at one year I didn't get hardly any feedback so I thought I must have really messed it up. I must have done so badly that there was just no way of responding to it. I ended up asking for feedback and I got a little bit of affirmation but it didn't seem to match my need of reassurance after being so worried for days.
It is hard to give your all and serve wholeheartedly if you don't feel appreciated by the ones your serving. (I sure hope I'm not alone in this.) So this story of Jesus gives incredible insight into His character. Strong, so strong.
So Peter and Andrew drop their jobs as fishermen and follow Jesus. They follow Jesus to Capernaum, their home town of 1,000-1,500 other people. He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. People were "amazed". He cast out demons and people were "amazed" and "news about Him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee." (Mark 1:27, 28)
Imagine if you were Peter and Andrew. What an awesome feeling. You're with that guy. The one everyone is amazed with, the super hero.
But I wonder if they knew what happened right before Jesus went to Capernaum with them. I wonder if Jesus told them, or if anyone told them what happened in Nazareth? These people in Nazareth "all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips." (Luke 4:22) Then Jesus went on to tell them the gospel was not only for the Jews but for everyone and they flipped their lid. "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff." (Luke 4:28-19)
Could you imagine!? Sharing your heart and the people wanting to, and actually taking action to throw you off a cliff! How would you feel? I think I just might freak out and go sulk with some cookie dough and cookies and creme ice cream while watching every episode of Alias reruns.
But not Jesus. He goes to call some disciples to leave everything they have to follow Him. Doesn't that just sound crazy! He almost got thrown off a cliff and then He asks some guys to join Him. Our God is a man on mission, undeterred by the cost, knowing the end will far outweigh the process.
So here Andrew and Peter, excited for what lies ahead, see the crowd receive Jesus with amazement.
"They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out, "What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God!" "Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly."Come out of him!" The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching--and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee." Mark 1:21-28
Jesus knows people's loyalty is flaky, the disciples, not yet. One minute people could praise us till the cows come home and the next want to throw us off a cliff.
Better to live for the praise of God, not men.
A Glimpse of the Wow-ing God 1:1-8
I was Ruined for Anything Else 1:16-18
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