Everyone loves fairy tales. There is just something about a fairy tale’s reversal of expectations that intrigues us.
There is something delicious about finding out that the frog is really a handsome prince and that the ugly duckling is the one that grows into the most resplendent of all swans. We enjoy it when the moment of truth comes for the characters in a story as they discover that the scruffy-looking character they never quite trusted is actually the true king of the realm.
Fairy tales are stories of transformation, and that’s what happened to these simple people we call the disciples of Jesus. If you took the disciples and brought them all together into one room, you would never in your wildest imagination guess by looking at them that this weak-looking pack of ordinary folks could change the world. But they did. The disciples changed the world because it was to them that the secret of the universe was first revealed.
That’s why Jesus called them in the first place. If you’re going to save the world, you’ve got to start somewhere. And if in the end you’re going to save the world through humility, gentleness, compassion, and sacrifice, it makes sense to begin with a bunch of fellows who couldn’t get much more humble if they tried! The messengers fit the message.
In fact, over the course of his ministry, if Jesus had any significant struggles with his disciples, it was the struggle to keep them humble and ordinary-looking. Every time a couple of them started angling for power or arguing amongst themselves as to who was the greatest, as they did in yesterday’s Gospel, Jesus slapped them back down to the street level of service. When Peter tried to wield a sword, Jesus told him to put it back in its sheath.
The disciples needed to be common, ordinary, and above all humble if they were going to do Jesus any good and so change the world. But as it turned out, each one of them was the frog who was really a prince!
Thanks to Scott Hoezee for these wonderful thoughts.
I turn on my TV, my computer, my tablet, and my smart phone and I wear out my fingers. I cannot find one person who comes across as humble, gentle, compassionate or willing to make a sacrifice. I don’t have to scratch my head for very long to discover why the world is not being significantly changed for the better.
Jesus is crying out for disciples TODAY like the ones he chose 2,000 years ago. Jesus is searching for ordinary folks, like you and me, who can make dreams and fairy tales come true for others. To be a disciple, a follower of Jesus, you must be humble, gentle, compassionate and willing to make a sacrifice.
WE NEED TO BE BOTH GENTLE AND STRONG SO WE CAN BE KIND!
Think of a time when YOU were BOTH Gentle & Strong.
WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS? JUST BE GENTLE!