Who Wrote This Story Anyway?
One of my favorite parts of the New Testament is the picture we get of humanity at its best (Jesus who is fully man and fully God) and at its absolute worst (almost everyone else in the gospels). Especially the depiction of the disciples and the interactions they had with Jesus. As much as they tried to get it together, prove their devotion and worth to Jesus, their fallen nature just kept getting in the way. Despite their brokenness, Jesus chose them and continued to invite them and involve them in His plans.
For example, Peter denied Christ three times, Judas betrayed Jesus for a sack of coins, and another disciple abandoned Jesus and ran naked from the soldiers who came to arrest Him. All of that happened on the same night after Jesus invited them to their last supper together and washed their feet. That’s not all either, Jesus playfully nicknames two of His disciples “Sons of Thunder”, fully knowing that He would have to correct them when they tried to use their new found authority in Jesus to murder Samaritan unbelievers with fire from heaven. Don't forget the countless times Jesus had to break up an argument among the disciples about who would be second in command. In Matthew 28 during the great commission, it says that the disciples came to see Jesus ascend to the right hand of the father but some of them doubted, it’s hard to imagine they had doubts about Him at that point, but they did. I could go on but I think I have made my point clear. The gospels hold no punches back in revealing the humanity of the people Jesus chose to walk with Him on earth.
Which leads me to ask a very simple question. Why? Why did Jesus not just do on His own what He was very capable of doing? Why did He waste His time involving these broken knuckleheads into an already difficult and messy mission? I think it’s the same reasons He used a stuttering murderer named Moses to deliver His people from Egypt, a coward named Gideon to defeat the Mideonites, and a lowly shepard named David to lead His people and establish the lineage of Gods own son coming to earth. God loves to join Himself and His plans with people who will say yes to Him. It just so happens that every person on earth has their own set of brokenness and insecurity that comes along with them. Because of the fall in the garden, none of us are actually worthy of God's call. Yet in His mercy, He keeps calling us. The only difference between you and every other person God has used in Human History is a simple yes to His leading and a no to your own desire. You heard me right, you have everything needed to partner with God and do amazing things for His kingdom. On top of that God is calling you to start right now and is waiting on your yes to partner with Him in His plan for the earth. Paul said it to Timothy like this…
2 Timothy 1 : 9-11
9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
Paul found His purpose and greatest desire by letting go of His own desire and saying yes to Jesus’s plan despite what Paul knew about himself. Which, my friends, was a lot of bad stuff. Paul was essentially was a first century terrorist who murdered scores of believers. Yet despite that, God chose and used Paul because Paul said yes. You couldn't write a more redeeming love story.
It’s actually the wisdom of God to partner with the brokenness of humanity to reveal his glory on the earth. Think about it, go back to Matthew 28 again we see that he commissions vulnerable, weak and scared men, with the responsibility of evangelizing the world in partnership with Him the trinity. If God left man out of the equation he would get the job done much quicker, and much more effectively. But Gods ‘s desire is not just to get the job done but to reveal His love in the job. In partnering with people who don’t deserve Him, the world is revealed to God’s unwavering love for his people and his strength in every situation despite our weakness.
God’s story always includes His people. People like you and me who despite our best efforts are continually falling short of the standard. He knows and He is still calling. We as a Church are called to reveal Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit to Appalachia. I know that can seem intimidating at times. If you're like me, you could find a thousand reasons to disqualify yourself, but I just want to remind you that you are the perfect person for the Job, and that God is inviting you to partner with Him in His story. That just leaves one more question to ask. Are you going to say yes?