Our Mission - Be Leaders
There were about 120 followers of Jesus when He ascended into Heaven. What happened to all the crowds that followed Him at one time? We know that He once fed well over 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish - “the number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matthew 14:21)
Yes, He was vilified and crucified, and perhaps some of these did not know He had risen from the dead, although it was the talk of Jerusalem at the time. And I Corinthians 15:6 says - After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time… Yet, only 120 were still active followers, waiting for the Holy Spirit to come.
It takes more than miracles for people to believe. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit. He had not yet come to indwell these believers, empower them to do God’s work, and convict unbelievers of their sin. And without His active presence on earth, nothing was happening. These believers were still waiting for Him to arrive. When He did arrive, this group began to change the world. Their numbers exploded to over 3,000 in just one day.
As you tell others what Jesus has done for you, be sure to pray for the Holy Spirit to be working in their lives. In doing so, we acknowledge our dependence on God, knowing that we can do nothing without Him. God will then respond by doing what only He can do; revealing truth and changing hearts and lives. Always pray for the power of the Holy Spirit.
Peter had become the leader of this group. The same man who denied Jesus is now leading. How did this happen? Jesus, Himself, is responsible. It happened the third time when Jesus appeared to the disciples. They had been fishing all night. In the morning, they saw Jesus on the shore cooking breakfast. They joined Him to eat fish and bread.
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again, Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.
Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21:15-19)
When Peter denied even knowing Him, Jesus had “looked straight at Peter”. They both knew what he had done. Since Peter denied the Lord three times, Jesus questioned him three times about his love. Peter was hurt, just as Jesus was hurt. When Jesus concludes by saying, “Follow me!” Peter knew he had been forgiven, was ready to follow Jesus, and become a leader.
Yes, it is true; followers of Jesus become leaders of people. You must follow first in order to lead. Out of our desire to follow and obey Jesus comes the desire to lead others to Him.
You can be like Peter, because you also have been forgiven. You can be a witness to what Jesus has done for you. Your past does not matter, only what you will do from this day forward.
Will you be a leader of people? If so, the first place you lead them will be to Jesus!