Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Superstar Christians

We can't all be superstar Christians (OK, we truly are in God's eyes but that's not the topic of this particular devotion). My daily Bible reading this morning was John 14. In this chapter, we hear from three of Jesus' disciples. Not Peter, superstar who Christ used to build the church; and not James, author of a book in the Bible. The three we hear from were Thomas (John 14:5), Philip (John 14:8) and Judas (not Iscariot) (John 14:22). Each one had walked side by side with Jesus, but still had questions. Things they didn't understand.

It raised a question in my mind. Did these three disciples with questions, one of which is even known as "doubting Thomas," still do great things for the Kingdom? Once the Holy Spirit came to dwell in them, did they have an effective ministry? So I looked up their stories to find the answer.

Thomas - "Tradition says he labored in Parthia, Persia and India. It is said that [Thomas] was commissioned to build a palace for the king of India, and he was killed with a spear as a martyr for his Lord."

Philip - "If this Philip is the same Philip [mentioned in Acts 6:5, 8:26 and 21:8], he was one of the major figures in the missionary enterprise of the early church. This simple Galilean gave all he had. It is said that he died by hanging. While he was dying, he requested that his body be wrapped not in linen but in papyrus for he was not worthy that even his dead body should be treated as the body of Jesus had been treated."

Judas "It is said that Jude went to preach the gospel in Edessa near the Euphrates River. There he healed many and many believed in the name of the Master. Jude went from there to preach the Gospel in other places. He was killed with arrows at Ararat."

* Quoted material found at http://www.swartzentrover.com/cotor/bible/Bible/NT/12Apostles.html

The lesson learned from these disciples of lesser notoriety is to not get caught up in being a superstar Christian. Think of some wonderful, strong believers whom you know personally. The quiet spirit they have as they serve their Lord. It's not about grand works or a name to be remembered for generations to come. And note that He can work in people among even doubts and questions. Once these disciples believed in Jesus and His mission, the Holy Spirit worked in them to do mighty things. Kingdom work. He who began a good work within you promises to do the same in your life (Philippians 1:6).