120 Disciples Turned the World Upside-Down

120 Disciples

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) –Acts 1:15

Our church just started a study in the book of Acts. We’ve been working our way through chapter one for the past three weeks. Each time we read through the chapter, verse fifteen begs for my attention and contemplation. The very first time we read the chapter in our midweek Bible study, I turned my Bible sideways and penned in the margin,

By 120 disciples, the gospel spread for centuries. What impact could we have if we only tried?

Imagine those 120 people sitting together in the upper room. Most Christians in the United States consider a church with 120 members to be tiny. But, think about that number of people in a different setting. A business with 120 employees is a pretty large company. If it’s run well, those employees can be organized into a formidable workforce that can get a lot accomplished.

Now add God into the mix. Image 120 people working, not to advance a business, but to advance a kingdom, a purpose, a cause. And not working alone, but working with and for an all powerful, all knowing God. Ordinary people with an extraordinary hope and purpose. That’s the group that inhabited the upper room, and they shook the world.

And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; –Acts 17:6

In the face of intense persecution, these first Christians spread the gospel to the corners of the world.

Guess how many followers this blog has? 137. That’s more people reading this post than the number of people responsible for beginning the domino effect that lead to us hearing the gospel, and (hopefully!) becoming followers of Jesus.

(If you haven’t accepted the free gift of salvation and want to learn more, use the contact me form to shoot me a message with your questions. I’ll do my best to answer them!)

Speaking of Jesus, the domino effect didn’t really start with 120 people. It started with one. It started with a baby in a manger. It started with a man who lived a perfect life, spoke the truth, and showed his love and justice to the people he came into contact with every day. It started with a corpse taken from a cross and buried in a grave. It started with a Savior, risen from the dead and extending the gift of life to the people he died for.

It started with One. And that One left behind 120 to carry on His work. And those 120 turned the world upside down with a message and a commission that continues to impact the world today.

Guess what? That One still works in and through people today. You could be one of the 120 of this generation. It might not look the same as it did back then, but God is still the same, and his calls and commands to us remain constant. Go to all nations and preach the gospel. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, and mind. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Visit the fatherless and widows.

Next time you feel discouraged, whether it’s concern over the enormity and confusion of the orphan crisis, or simply feeling insignificant in the grand scheme of the world, remember the 120 in the upper room and the impact they had on their own generation and all the generations that have followed. It only takes a spark to get a fire burning, and God can set a life on fire.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. –Joshua 24:15

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. –Philippians 4:13

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4 Comments

  1. Thank you for the wonderful reminder, Leah. What a good lesson to apply. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Spencer R.

     /  February 6, 2015

    Great article. Thanks, Leah!

    Reply
  3. Peter Herndon

     /  February 7, 2015

    Leah. You write with passion and conviction. And I love the illustration. A picture that will stick with me. A reminder of the power that resides in all believers. Mr H

    Reply
  4. Jonathan G.

     /  February 8, 2015

    Love this. God is still the God of the impossible and implausible! And he chooses to use people like us to do it!

    Reply

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