jueves, 28 de agosto de 2008


By Pastor Cesar Castellanos

It's been proven that the model of the Twelve has given the greatest results since Jesus developed it in His earthly ministry, and this remains true in our time. The leader is the key. This was the lesson the Lord gave us by His example. Through His ministerial life He believed in people, not for what they were, but for potential that He knew existed in them. This potential came from God's Divine breath, but it was masked by different kinds of weaknesses, shortcomings or circumstances in which they found themselves.

Though Jesus could have poured His life into multitudes, He chose instead to work in the formation of the character of only twelve disciples. Like a potter with clay, for three years, He shaped each one of their characters, somewhat as Job expressed, "Your hands created and shaped me". Before ascending to heaven, the Lord assembled His disciples and observed that something was still needful: Divine breath, so that they would be equipped to do evangelistic work in the different nations of the earth. That's why He told them, "'Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.' And when he had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'" (John20: 21-22).

How did Jesus transform His Twelve who were apparently without refinement, education, riches or social status, to become the pillars of Christianity? The answer is simple; they were willing to be molded by Him.

As the apostle Paul explains, "But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?" (Romans 9:20-21).

We don't know how long it took God to form Adam's physical body, but we do know that it took the Lord Jesus three-and-a-half years to form His Twelve. He had to dig deep into their lives, just as any builder must do according to the kind of structure he is going to build. Just as an architect gives a scale model to the builder to follow his plans, Jesus left His disciples with the model of His own life to follow. Paul understood this when he said, "Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13).

Jesus was not concerned that His disciples give admiration to Him, what He wanted most was that they emulate Him. When the apostles were in daily contact with Jesus, they were able to see in Him the ideal example they were to follow. Though all were aware that they could not surpass the Son of God it was still necessary for them to live according to a higher standard than the world. Paul said, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (I Corinthians 11:1).

Jesus defined the difference between a faithful leader and a religious leader. A faithful leader is an example worth imitating. A religious leader only cares about external appearance and always justifies his actions, "Don't look at me, because as man I can fail, look to the Lord". The apostles belonged to the first group and the Pharisees belonged to the second. To which group do you belong? The vision that Jesus established goes beyond simple religiosity it is the character of Christ reproduced in us so that we may reproduce it in others.

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