Monday, July 1, 2013


Every time I read through the Gospels, I find myself wondering which disciple I would be.  At certain moments, I laugh, because it's pretty clear.

I would be Andrew, bold proclaimer of seemingly useless information.  As John 6 records the story of the feeding of the five thousand, it begins with Philip saying they don't have enough money in the savings account to buy enough bread to feed everyone on the hill.  Then Andrew pipes up.  "A boy who has five loaves of barley bread and two small fish is here." (9)

Oh, precious Andrew.  It's the kind of thing I often find myself saying.  "Here's this similar, but completely different or some, but not enough, of the thing of which we are seeking."  I laugh at myself now when I catch myself continuing, "But that doesn't really help us much..." because I can't help but think about Andrew.  Who knows how much it really could help?

It's pretty clear.

I would be Philip, sober assessor of current capabilities.  In the aforementioned story, it is Philip who says the disciples don't have near enough money to buy bread for the five thousand.  That's me.  I am pretty frugal, but beyond that, money savvy.  I'd be looking at the checkbook and thinking, nope.  Not near enough.  Even if we...nope.  There's not a way to stretch this.  This amount of food would bankrupt us.  Beyond bankrupt us.  And then what would we do with the next group of people that needs to eat - which may be us - or the next person who needs a little something here or there.  Nope.  No way.

Oh, precious Philip.  If only you understood the way Jesus' seemingly-obvious questions set up the seemingly-impossible.

It's pretty clear.

I would be Peter, absolute insister of one thing or another.  Peter steals a spot outside the trial of Jesus, sitting around the fire with the townspeople and some soldiers.  Three times, he insists he doesn't even know Jesus, that Jesus isn't his kind of guy.  In another verse, we see Jesus giving Peter another chance and three times, Peter declares that Jesus is Christ.  Whatever he believes, either in fear or in faith, he puts his foot down and stands on it.  That's the kind of thing I would do (and do) - I get these things in my head that I believe and I don't move from them.  Or if it seems like one thing might really serve me well, I am not above sometimes standing firm on something that could be me out of trouble here or there.  But whatever it is, don't argue with me because I only become that much more insistent.

Oh, precious Peter.  On your firmness, Christ will build His church.

It's pretty clear.

I would be John.  Throughout his gospel, John refers to himself not as "me" but as "the one whom Jesus loves."  I would be so enamored.  I would be so blown away by the love of God that I couldn't help explain myself by the love of my Lord.  

I would be Matthew, feeling wholly out of place among these seemingly holier guys, knowing where I've come from and how I used to be and what I used to know.  Knowing that everyone's looking at me and trying to see the traces of my past life.  Trying to figure out what this Jesus wants with me.

I would be Bartholomew.  I would be James.  I would be the other James.  I would be Jude.  I would be Simon.  I would be the kind of person who walks around with Jesus, who listens to Him, who follows Him, who defends Him, but who you never really hear that much more about.  I would be the kind of person who would be there, but you'd never really know why and I might let my story just fade away into the grander thing.

I would be Thomas; I would doubt.

I would be Judas.  You have no idea what cheap things in my life I have been willing to betray Jesus for.  Haven't we all?

I think about the disciples a lot and I wonder which one I would be.  Then I think about the way that each of them played in the story, how each man was different and how God used each of them anyway.  How the most incredible things seemed to happen around and through and because of these men, and it's pretty clear. That's the kind of disciple I'd be.

That's the kind of disciple I am.  Just a girl, following God, hanging around and going on this journey and waiting to figure out how God is going to use even my story for His.  How God is going to transform this into something glorious, all that I am and all that I am not.

Oh, precious Aidan.  If only you knew what God is really up to....

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