At a very young age, my mother began a very successful disciplinary tactic on me. My propensity to share half-truths bothered her. She started unleashing her tool on me, John 8:32, “and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”. I memorized that scripture quickly, without even trying. Lying did eventually become harder for me, but it was a long childhood journey. My imagination would not take me away from truth anymore. My mother was teaching me to listen to her and my Lord. The reason I love to share that memory is not because of my deceit, but His faithfulness to never give up on me.
After the resurrection, time was never going to be the same. The teacher had come so quickly and then gone.…He was crucified. All of His followers had dispersed and went into hiding. What happens now? Everything was placed on following Him. Starting over would not be a delightful change for any of them. It was almost like the beginning, except without Him. Then something happened, the large stone had been rolled away from the tomb and His body was missing…He began appearing to His disciples and followers . Their beloved teacher had returned….
Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. John baptized with water, but in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:4-5 NLT
Jesus had walked on this earth and told His disciples about God’s Kingdom before, but something had changed. They actually heard this time. Where did the difference come from? Was it the crucifixion? Facing the world without Jesus could have done the trick! The prophecy of history being fulfilled could have made the change! However, I choose to see it as a personal decision for each of the disciples and followers of Jesus. They had watched Jesus live and die. Their Lord knew all of their failings, and He still remained faithful to each of them. Today, Jesus always remains faithful, regardless of what we do.
Mom taught me not to lie. However, the bigger lesson learned was to listen. Do you listen to the concerns of your children? Do they feel free to share with you? The change made for me was my mom’s concern for me. The disciples change came because of what Jesus did for them. That is when they truly learned the art of listening.
“So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then You won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” Galatians 5:16 NLT