By Keith McMahon
Recently, my dear wife Beth and I had the wonderful opportunity of touring Israel with a group with Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. It was an incredibly humbling and enlightening experience. Since our return, many have asked “what was the highlight of the trip?” That’s a tough question to answer! For me, getting acquainted with the lay of the land certainly has enhanced my Bible reading. But even greater, getting better acquainted with the heart of our Saviour, for His people, Israel, has enlarged my perspective.
As we traversed the land in which Jesus Christ lived and ministered, I often thought about His compassionate heart for Israel and the unique privileges that God has graciously made available to His special people, in the land that He has given to them. Frequently, I found myself thinking ahead to what will be one day when, at His revelation, Israel repentantly recognizes Him as their Messiah. It is only then that Israel will fully experience all that God has purposed for her.
At the same time, I couldn’t help but be thankful for so many privileges that I enjoy as a disciple of Christ. On one particular day, our group enjoyed a most intimate moment of reflection as we sat in a tour boat upon the Sea of Galilee. It was my joy to share some thoughts from God’s Word. I had chosen a passage from Luke 5:1-11, where Jesus, while sitting in a fishing boat, taught the crowds along the shore of the lake of Gennesaret (Galilee). It was at this time that He prompted Peter to launch out into the deep and let down his nets to catch some fish. In his obedience, Peter, along with the other eyewitnesses, had the privilege of gaining a glimpse into the deity of Christ as it was manifested in His person and power. I would like to share with you seven distinct privileges of discipleship that arise from this text. As disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ we have the privileges of:
- Being taught the Word of God (Luke 5:1-3).
- Launching out into greater opportunities with Christ (Luke 5:4).
- Observing God do what only He can do in our lives (Luke 5:6,9).
- Helping others observe God do what only He can do (Luke 5:7,10).
- Coming to terms with our sinfulness, in the light of Christ’s holiness (Luke 5:8,9).
- Experiencing the abundant, immeasurable grace of God (Luke 5:6).
- Refocusing our priorities and pursuits in this life, in accordance to God’s call upon our lives (Luke 5:10,11).
Dear friend, won’t you take a moment or two today and quietly reflect upon the Person and power of Christ, along with the privileges of discipleship that belong to those who know Him?
This article appears in the June 2010 NBBI Open Bible Bulletin. Click here for a printable pdf version.