The lives of the disciples show constant spiritual growth as they walked with Jesus.
When Christ called His disciples, their attitudes and actions certainly did not reflect the loveliness of His character.
Read Luke 9:51-56 and Matthew 20:20-28. How do these passages reveal James’ and John’s thinking?
James and John had some serious character flaws. They were not prepared to represent Christ’s love to the world. They were not qualified to proclaim a message of grace to others who had not changed their own lives.
In spite of their serious defects of character, James and John longed to reveal Jesus’ character more fully. They longed for transformation and reformation in their own attitudes. Growth and change are part of our Christian experience.
Read 1 John 2:1-9. What do these verses reveal about the great changes that came over John during the years after Jesus’ death? What do they teach us about what it means to be a follower of Jesus?
It’s so easy to get discouraged over our own spiritual growth, especially as we truly want to have revival and reformation in our lives. When discouraged, when feeling as if you are a spiritual failure and that you are going to be lost, what promises can you claim that will show you why you must never give up, and why, despite your faults, you can have assurance of salvation?