This past week I was reading in the Book of Luke, Chapter 6. As I read verses 12-23, all I could think of was how awesome it must have been to be in that vast crowd awaiting Jesus, and to finally look upon Him as He descended the mountain. It must have been awesome to witness His healing of those in need, to hear Him speak, and to be able just to reach out and touch Him.
Now Jesus sits at the right hand of God, and there is a vast crowd awaiting His descent from Heaven. We wait for that day when we will finally look upon Him as He descends in the clouds. We wait for that day to be able to worship Him as He stands before us in all of His glory. We wait for that day when in victory He will heal this world. No more pain, no more sorrow. What a day that will be!
Until that day comes, pray for those who need Jesus and share Him with others. Love one another, and be a light on this earth. Things are going to get worse, and this we know, but we also have our hope in Him, His Plan, and the beautiful, perfect world that is to come.
One day soon afterwards He went out into the mountains to pray, and prayed all night. At daybreak He called together His followers and chose twelve of them to be the inner circle of His disciples. (They were appointed as his “apostles,” or “missionaries.”) Here are their names: Simon (he also called him Peter), Andrew (Simon’s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (the son of Alphaeus), Simon (a member of the Zealots, a subversive political party), Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
When they came down the slopes of the mountain, they stood with Jesus on a large, level area, surrounded by many of His followers who, in turn, were surrounded by the crowds. For people from all over Judea and from Jerusalem and from as far north as the seacoasts of Tyre and Sidon had come to hear Him or to be healed. And He cast out many demons. Everyone was trying to touch Him, for when they did, healing power went out from Him and they were cured.
Then He turned to his disciples and said, “What happiness there is for you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours! What happiness there is for you who are now hungry, for you are going to be satisfied! What happiness there is for you who weep, for the time will come when you shall laugh with joy! What happiness it is when others hate you and exclude you and insult you and smear your name because you are Mine! When that happens, rejoice! Yes, leap for joy! For you will have a great reward awaiting you in heaven. And you will be in good company—the ancient prophets were treated that way too!— Luke 6:12-23