Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?
I have good news today. Jesus returned from the desert and came to be with some of us in Galilee. Andrew and another man (I think his name was John) spent the day with him. When they came back, Jesus spoke with Simon. During the conversation, Jesus gave him a new name. He called him Peter. Why would Jesus call him a name that means “rock?” Perhaps Jesus has a plan for Simon Peter’s future.
It seems that Jesus is choosing men to be with him. Along with Simon Peter, Andrew, and John, he invited Philip to join him. There was no long interview. Jesus simply said, “Follow me.” Without a hesitation, he eagerly joined Jesus’ group. The first thing Philip did was to gather his friend Nathanael, who is also sometimes called by his formal name, Bartholomew. Unfortunately, Nathanael got off to a rough start. When Philip told him about Jesus, he disrespectfully said: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip knew that Nathanael’s attitude would change once he met Jesus.
When Jesus first saw Nathanael, he said, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” Nathanael was stunned and asked Jesus how he knew him. Jesus responded, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Sister, Jesus was nowhere near Nathanael at that time. How could he have known he was under a fig tree? Nathanael was so astonished that he said, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God. You are the king of Israel.”
Jesus responded, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that. I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (see John 1:46-51).
Oh sister, I can hardly believe it but I think I am in the presence of the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah! What lies ahead for us? Will I really see angels ascending and descending on Jesus? And what did he mean when he called himself the Son of Man? He did not deny the titles “Son of God” and “King of Israel.”
Tonight, I will join a couple of other women and cook for Jesus and his new followers. The men seem open to us joining them to help them with cooking and washing their clothes. I can hardly believe that I get to be with Jesus. I feel like the most blessed woman in the world! This man is truly sent by the Father. It seems the Father has heard our cries of suffering and has sent a deliverer. Pray for me to be a faithful servant of Jesus.
your loving sister
Today’s Bible Reading: John 1:35-51; Matthew 16:18-19
Jesus had a special name for Peter. Later we learn that he called him “rock” because he would become a key apostle who would build the church. God has special names for each of us: His beloved, His daughter, His bride, His friend, His servant, His sheep, His chosen one, the one in whom He delights, His royal priest, His living stone, one belonging to God, His holy one, His princess, His beautiful one, His forgiven one, His ambassador, His precious and honored one, His adored one, His cherished vineyard, His Temple, His redeemed, and other names. Which of these names is the Lord wanting to remind you of today? Take time to thank Him for the names He bestows on you.
Tell someone else today the wonderful names the Lord has given you.
You are in the presence of the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah. He hears all your cries for help. Share your concerns with Him. Ask Him how you can be His faithful servant today.