The Discipline of God
"And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." (John 15:27)
The disciples came and stayed with Jesus. It would not have been an easy thing. It is not an easy thing to be with Jesus. Worldly people cannot live with Him. Heavy demands will be made on their mental, physical and spiritual powers. Those with Jesus cannot sleep as they like, cannot revile others, cannot boast about themselves like the people of the world. They must be prepared to receive rebukes, disappointments, shocks, face some mysteries they cannot explain and have to wait patiently till they are revealed to them. Heavy demands are made on our personal discipline. We cannot be with Jesus and get up at in the morning or spend time in gossip. Your attitudes will be corrected constantly. What you esteem will be thrown down. There will be a good deal of learning and unlearning. Your time is not your own. You will have to suspend your own thoughts and ideas. It is not easy to be with Jesus.
After living with Jesus for a stretch of time, the disciples gained experience which stood them in good stead in the trials of life. Jesus valued their stay with Him. People could not understand His saying, "Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you" (John ). His words and His ways were not easy to understand. They all walked to the grave of Lazarus. They were in suspense. Their faith was not equal to what they were going to see. They were with Jesus in the storm. They ran into despair. Their lack of faith was rebuked. They were at their wits' end when Jesus asked them to feed the five thousand. They said even 200 penny worth of bread would not be sufficient to feed the 5000 - such was their crude imagination. They never could think like He did. "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8,9).