Jesus’ time with His disciples on earth was coming to an end. In fact, this week, we reflect upon the reality that this would have been the last full week the disciples had with Jesus before He ascended into heaven. I can only imagine the lingering questions they had about the future and what would come next. We see in the beginning of John 14 that as Jesus foretells His departure, He assures them that He will return for them and that they know the path before them. Thomas replies that they do not, prompting the words of Jesus captured in our collect for this week…I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me (John 14:6).
Though the disciples certainly had questions, feelings of inadequacy, and a concerns about what was to come, they were committed. Their decision to follow Jesus was unwavering (even despite momentary lapses - such as Peter’s denial), and one that molded their lives from the minute they left everything to heed Jesus’ call to follow them until their own deaths for His sake. The nature of that calling had changed as they grew in relationship with God through Jesus over their three years in following Him, and witnessed His triumph over sin and death. Now, they were on the brink of carrying that mission forward themselves, through the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus went to prepare a place them (and all who would follow Him). Knowing who they followed, and who held the answer to all these questions, gave them confidence going forward.
As we move into the final weeks of Easter, we too are called to reflect upon our commitment to Jesus. One exercise this week might be looking at your calendar to see where the bulk of your time is spent each week. Chart out where your biggest commitments lie. Then, look at how much time you spend either in worship and relationship (prayer, study, and service) with the Lord weekly.
One way to move forward in discipleship is to look at how we could be more committed to Jesus. Perhaps it is carving out an extra hour or two in building relationship with Him through prayer and study. Maybe it is taking on a service role in one of the ministries at the church. Sunday mornings are a time to be blocked off to strengthen us for the week to come. The call of discipleship then and now is one of commitment to Jesus. And as we continue in this Easter season, may we reflect upon how we may further our commitment to Christ in our own growth and that for the advancement of His Kingdom.