We Are the Thirteenth Disciple

The Jordan River

The idea of being “the thirteenth disciple” that Suzanne Eller suggests in her final chapter of Come with Me has been stirring in my mind and heart since I finished reading her book. Oh C p. Oooop B n

Why had I never considered that reality before now?

As I consider the life of the original twelve disciples and where they walked with Him, how they fellowshipped with Him, what they witnessed, and what they suffered, I am always impacted. The photographs of those very places stir my vision further.

What I have been confronted with is that the story does not end after the gospels. We see disciples being added in the book of Acts even though their names are not as familiar perhaps as the original twelve except maybe Paul, Barnabas, Apollos, Silas, and Timothy.

It can be far too easy to hold the Bible in our hands and read it as we would a history book. It does indeed tell us a grand history rich with stories, poems, battles, adventures, and prophecies that paint pictures of places, creatures, and happenings beyond our imagination.

But it is more than that…

The Bible is a living, breathing document of God’s creation and interaction with His creation. It doesn’t end when we finish reading the last chapter even though the last chapter signifies the end of what is considered “the inspired Word of God”. It goes on reaching out to new disciples, transforming hearts, and lives.

New stories are being added to His glory and for His honor.

They are our stories, our pieces of His story. They too are leaving a legacy, an imprint for those who come after us to follow.

If I, if we, are the thirteenth disciple and believe it, how will that influence the story? How will it influence how I spend my time, my gifts, and my resources?

I am not suggesting my story is on a par with those of the apostles, Paul, or the other early disciples we read about. You might feel yours is not that significant or special either, but those I speak of and we revere were really not men anyone would have written about or considered to be important until they had walked with Jesus and He transformed their lives.

He entrusted the whole of His ministry on this earth to a ragtag group of men without degrees, status, position, or power. He wanted them to “pass it on” through what they experienced “with” Him with the Holy Spirit He had promised would come to help them.

Isn’t He, aren’t they, entrusting each one of us in the same way? He’s entrusted it to us as well.

You may well say you are not teaching and preaching, but if you are reading a Bible story to your child or a group of children in a Sunday School class are you not spreading the gospel? If you are praying for the sick, are you not living out His example?

If you are daily seeking the Lord and desiring to be used by Him, is not your life demonstrating a witness that says you are different in some way from others who have not been transformed?

We may not even say a great deal and yet those whose lives interact with us are looking at a living, breathing disciple and our lives are being read daily by family, friends, neighbors, and others.

When I pause to consider such things, I am sobered.

What does my walk look like?

Am I listening as He did?

Am I noticing “the least of these” as He did?

Am I loving without distinction as He did?

In truth, if I am grading myself, I am not persuaded that I am being as much like Him as I would wish or as much as He wants me to be.

Looking at the disciples who came before me points to how I can improve.

Being a disciple means spending time with Jesus, walking and talking with Him, observing what He is up to, gleaning truth from what He has said and is saying. It means being strengthened in the community of other like-minded believers/disciples, but not spending all my time focusing on meeting with them. It means not just listening to others talk about Him, but knowing Him for myself, leaning against Him, becoming familiar with His voice.

Light shines brightest in dark places.

I think if I am to keep in mind that I am the thirteenth disciple, I start with listening for His words to me each day to hear where “come with me” takes me.

Each of our paths will be different.

Where is He taking yours?

The Sea of Galilee

10 thoughts on “We Are the Thirteenth Disciple

  1. Pam, this is such a thoughtful message. I love how your words caused me to pause and reflect on this. I think we very well could be the 13th disciples.
    Thank you for sharing this with Sweet Tea & Friends this month dear friend.

  2. I love the point you make about the disciples not being someone anyone would write about UNTIL they started walking with Jesus. May my walk with Jesus change me in such a way that people notice!

  3. Your post reminds me of hearing Paul Tripp speak many years ago. Afterwards, my husband said, I want to love Jesus like that man. That was life-changing for him. Since that time, I have had the joy of hearing others say similar things about Mike. Your post, like that experience, challenges me to want to do a better job of being a disciple.

  4. Pam, last year I looked up the word “apostle” and saw that it meant sent one. In the great commission, Jesus sent his disciples into all the world. I like the idea of seeing myself as one sent by God to show people Jesus. I agree with you. Seeing ourselves as one of His disciples changes how we live and treat others.

  5. Beautiful post Pam! I’ve never thought of us in that way, let alone myself! Much food for thought here…

    How is your jaw going now? I haven’t joined you here for a few weeks so am not up to date with how it’s all going.
    Blessings sweet friend, Jennifer 💖

    1. Hello, my friend!

      Thank you for the kind words😊

      There is improvement but not resolution. Bone has filled in around the front teeth pushed up into the bone socket, but two teeth on one side beside the left front tooth are sensitive and not all the bone is filled in there. The splint is still on and I next see the dentist April 26 and we’ll see where we are. The fate of those teeth really depends on the Lord doing the bone work. Thanks for remembering and asking. Hoping for good news and appreciate your prayers. One ear also still has fluid in it from the severe influenza A in late October and I see another specialist in mid May to see if I need a tube in that ear.

      How are you? I have not seen something in my inbox for a while unless I missed it.

      Blessings on you! Look forward to meeting you in person in eternity♥️

      1. Awww Pam, it seems you’re still having a hard time of it, I’m glad there has been some progress & healing though. Somethings need longer to heal then others. 🙏

        I have been up & down with FM cycles, I’ve noticed that the intensity & length of the more challenging cycles have increased in the last 18 months.
        Although this may be related to the grief process over losing my Mum & a dear friend of 40 years, Joy, with a few months of each other.

        I have been posting each week Pam, so you may have missed some.
        How lovely it will be to sit & have a cuppa with you in eternity Pam!
        Bless you! 💝

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