The man who was to betray Jesus to the authorities was sent out to preach the kingdom of God.
1 Timothy 4:1-16
Reference: v.10 (and for this we labour and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe. (NIV Bible)
Explore: I have a new passion that all Christians can be evangelists in their own neighbourhoods. We all have the ability to be missionaries in our own cultural setting, and yet often we shy away from this. In the new housing estate I live in it is very difficult to get to know people and I’ve had to knock on people’s doors just to introduce myself. While I hesitate in fear that I will be known as the neighbourhood stalker (!) I’ve found that I don’t just naturally bump in to anyone on the street anymore. Building relationships with our neighbours has become all the more difficult. And so, as I have been reading through the scriptures I have been looking out for advice as to how I can be a good witness to my neighbours. I noticed that when Jesus sent out his disciples to build God’s kingdom, he sent them all out (Luke 9:1-6 ). On one hand that is a great encouragement to me. They were all so different and yet could all be used to proclaim God’s kingdom. On the other hand, however, that means that Jesus would also have sent out Judas Iscariot. The man who was to betray Jesus to the authorities was sent out to preach the kingdom of God. Therefore, people would have had faith in Jesus through the encouragement of Judas. I wonder if they found out that it was Judas who signalled to the authorities that Jesus was the one they wanted. I wonder if their faith was rocked due to the rebellion of their first teacher.
Application: There are many people who come in to our lives that help us look to Christ. We are not created to live out our faith on our own so we find mentors, teachers and guides to help us along the way. But these helpful people are not perfect. We must be so very careful to make sure that we are following Jesus and not following one of His disciples. We can end up having more faith in another follower of God rather than focusing our faith on our Lord and Saviour. This verse in Timothy is a good reminder to us to not put our hope in anything else than our God who has saved us all. Really, this is a huge relief to me as I strive to connect with people in my community. I am not the one they should be following, I just want to point them to Christ who is the One who has saved them all.
Prayer: Lord, we can feel great connections to other people in our lives and yet it is only You who can truly save us and love us completely. May we see You more and more in our lives. Amen.
Who is a disciple of Christ that has helped you in your faith? What are the Godly characteristics in them that help you connect with God?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.