Relevant Passages: Luke 5:1-11 (fish); Mark 3:13-19 (call); 4:35-41 (wind); Matthew 20:20-28 (great)
Leading Question: Why do the Gospels present the disciples as such flawed people?
The official study guide selects several passages from the Gospels to show the contrast between Jesus and the flawed humanity of the disciples. What do the following passages reveal about the nature of the conflict between good and evil insofar as it relates to ordinary people?
Peter and the great catch of fish (Luke 5:1-11)
Note: Peter’s experience shows that even sensing God’s goodness can terrorize God’s children. One doesn’t need a Mt. Sinai experience in order to learn the “fear” of the Lord.
Call of the twelve (Mark 3:13-19)
Note: The official study guide notes that Christ wanted the disciples to “be with him” before they went out on their mission trips. How can modern Christians find the equivalent experience of “being with him” since Jesus is no longer with us in the flesh?
Storm at sea (Mark 4:35-40)
Note: Jesus clearly could control the forces of nature. Is there any clue in Scripture as to why he sometimes intervenes and sometimes does not?
Greatest (Matthew 20:20-28)
Note: Given Jesus’ clear teaching on serving others, how can we explain (and counteract) the powerful impulse toward a coercive hierarchy in the life of the church today?
Slow learners (Luke 24:19-35)
Note: If the disciples could not grasp the truth from Jesus himself, is it any wonder that in his absence, we too struggle to hear God’s truth? That’s a call to patience. Note this striking quotation from Ellen White, originally in the context of health reform:
“We must go no faster than we can take those with us whose consciences and intellects are convinced of the truths we advocate. We must meet the people where they are. Some of us have been many years in arriving at our present position in health reform. It is slow work to obtain a reform in diet. We have powerful appetites to meet; for the world is given to gluttony. If we should allow the people as much time as we have required to come up to the present advanced state in reform, we would be very patient with them, and allow them to advance  step by step, as we have done, until their feet are firmly established upon the health reform platform. But we should be very cautious not to advance too fast, lest we be obliged to retrace our steps. In reforms we would better come one step short of the mark than to go one step beyond it. And if there is error at all, let it be on the side next to the people. – 3T 20-21 (1872)