Luke 6:12 “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”
Jesus was faced with the same problem that we are faced with. How would Jesus get His message out that He came to dies for the sins of the world? It is the responsibility of the Church in world evangelism.
What did Jesus do?
The first thing we see Jesus doing: He prayed. (Luke 4:12 “Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray.” So we see that prayer was Jesus’ main agenda. “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’ ” (Luke 4: 41,43) What comes out here is that prayer helps us to keep our focus, because if we do not have focus we will have fragmentation. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.” (Luke 5:16,18)
We see the connection between prayer and the power to heal.
Jesus not only prayed alone, but there were times when He prayed with others. “About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.” (Luke 9:28) In Ephesians 6:18 Paul tells us: “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
It might seem unimportant, but the necessity of waiting on God is essential. A.W. Tozer said: “When I am praying the most eloquently, I am getting the least accomplished in my prayer life. But when I stop getting eloquent and give God less theology and shut up and just gaze upward and wait for God to speak to my heart He speaks with such power that I have to grab a pencil and a notebook and take notes on what God is saying to my heart.”
Secondly, Jesus chose 12 men. “He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.” (Mark 3:14) I shared about power versus influence and mentioned the following: “Power works by division, influence by multiplication. In other words, the more power you share the less you have, but the more influence you share the more you have.”
What did Jesus do? We read that Jesus spent the night in prayer and the next morning He called His followers and out of them He chose 12 whom He called His Apostles.
We read in John 20:22: “And with that he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
One could say that He gave them His influence and they went forth and spread that influence.
Thirdly, He taught them. What did He teach? He taught them the true meaning of discipleship. “Looking at his disciples, he said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.’”
This sounds like the beatitudes in Matthew 5, but I do not think it is so because of the following verses. If He is talking about the poor in spirit then why would he mention about being rich and if he is talking about hunger in righteousness then why would he mention about being well fed, etc. “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.” (Luke 6:20-26) Jesus is teaching His disciples that God is first in all things. He is the Lord; He is the King and not self. This is a hard lesson to learn, but one that we must learn if we are going to be successful in God’s work.
Fourthly, Jesus showed His disciples how to influence the world – to live by His kingdom principles. But if Jesus is not the King in our life it will be impossible to do; to love your enemies; to bless those who curse you; to lend expecting nothing in return; not to judge. So often we have a tendency to judge the motives of others and find ourselves acting in the way that we have judged others.
We will face many storms in life and whether we will stand or crumble before the storms of life will depend on our foundation. Are we built on the sand or on the solid rock of the teaching of Christ?