Pastor's Pondering


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Disciples Before or After

by Duane Mabee on August 26, 2021

In the little booklet, The Overcoming Life, D. L. Moody addressed the topic of humility.  I don’t think I can improve on his words, so I will quote him at length and make a few comments below. 


To me, one of the saddest things in all the life of Jesus Christ was the fact that just before His crucifixion His disciples should have been striving to see who should be the greatest, that night, the night He instituted the Supper, and they ate the Passover together.  It was His last night on earth, and they never saw Him so sorrowful before.  He knew Judas was going to sell Him for thirty pieces of silver.  He knew that Peter would deny Him and yet, in addition to this, when going into the very shadow of the cross, there arose this strife as to who should be the greatest.  He took a towel and girded Himself like a slave, and He took a basin of water and stopped and washed their feet.  That was another object lesson of humility.  He said, “You call Me Lord, and you do well.  If you want to be great in My kingdom, be servant of all.  If you serve, you shall be great.”


When the Holy Spirit came and those men were filled, from that time on mark the difference: Matthew takes up his pen to write, and he keeps Matthew out of sight.  He tells what Peter and Andrew did, but he calls himself “Matthew the publican.”  He tells how they left all to follow Christ but does not mention the feast he gave.  Jerome says that Mark’s gospel is to be regarded as memoirs of Peter’s discourses and to have been published by his authority.  Yet here we constantly find that the damaging things are mentioned about Peter, and things to his credit are not referred to.  Mark’s gospel omits all allusion to Peter’s faith in venturing on the sea but goes into detail about the story of His fall and denial of our Lord.  Peter put himself down, and lifted others up. 


If the gospel of Luke had been written today, it would be signed by the great Dr. Luke, and you would have his photograph as a frontispiece.  But you can’t find Luke’s name; he keeps out of sight.  He wrote two books, and his name is not to be found in either.  John covers himself always under the expression “the disciple who Jesus loved.”  None of the four men whom history and tradition assert to be the authors of the gospels lays claim to the authorship in his writings.  Dear man of God, I would that I had the same spirit, that I could just get out of sight – hide myself, (pp. 108-110).


Oh, that we would resemble the disciples after the coming of the Spirit, rather than when they jockeyed for first place.  Oh, that we would humbly get out of the way and point people to Jesus rather than to ourselves.