Saturday, January 5, 2013

On the Outside Looking In

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

While leaving a comment on a friend's blog, I found myself wandering off the subject onto something only sort of related and realized that I needed to just turn it into a blog post myself and have done with it.  It's been percolating around for a while; maybe it's time for it to hit the page...

Anyway, if I were to ask you who Jesus' best friend was, you'd no doubt answer John. (all verses today from the ESV)

One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at the table at Jesus' side (John 13:23)...This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things (John 21:24a)

And if I were to ask you who Jesus was closest to, you'd reply John, but you'd also add his brother James and Simon Peter.

...Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves (Matt. 17:1b)

And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him,, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. (Lk 8:51)

But they were only three of the twelve guys that Jesus picked to be with him all the time:

And when the day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles (Lk 6:13)

And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.  And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out. to preach (Mark 3:13)

But those twelve guys were chosen from the whole group of disciples, from whom he later chose more to go out and preach in his name:

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. (Lk 10:1)

But there were about hundred and twenty  folks who were dedicated enough to Jesus to obey his last instruction:

In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120)... (Acts 1:15 a)'s my question...which has been rumbling about for ages and ages... who were those other folks?  The ones who weren't picked to be the closest to Jesus?  We know there were a number of folks who had followed him from the beginning and stayed all the way through;  Acts 1:21 speaks of them.

Did these folks sit on the outskirts of the group, watching Jesus teach the 12?  Did they watch the boat sail with Jesus away from the shore, then trudge around the lake with the rest of the crowd?  Did they press up against him as he went to the home of Jairus, hoping for a word, a nod...something to indicate that they were seen?  That they meant something?  That they had a part to play in the ministry?

I've heard many messages that had the point that 'You're as close to Jesus as you want to be'...but then I think of those disciples who followed but who were not chosen to be one of the elite.  Were they as close to Jesus as they wanted to be?  Was that why Jesus chose some but not others?  Were the unchosen ones flawed in some way...some way that was more significant than the flaws in the ones who WERE chosen?

See, I find myself on the outside most of the time.  Not in the realm of the chosen.  And, I might as well admit, I struggle with jealousy of those who seem to slip right in and be comfortable.  Well, maybe jealousy is a strong word...but I wonder how people can do that, when I feel I have to earn my place and then earn the right to stay in that place, and then still keep looking over my shoulder for the person who will point at me and say, 'What's she doing here?'.

But...the 72 had a place.  And likewise the 120.  Do you suppose each of them had a moment with Jesus, all to themselves, in which he called them by name and spoke of their purpose in him?  They all saw marvels and won great victories.

Like the 72, I must realize that not everyone is called to be one of the 12.  But if I am one of the 72 (or 70, depending on your translation), then I am called to be faithful to the task He has given me.  Maybe I'm not one of those closest to him, but I can go ahead and prepare the way and be a representative of Him. 

Or, in earthly terms, I may never be someone who truly moves with leaders (or, as my friend with the blog who prompted this post calls it, 'The A List').  That may not be my calling.  But maybe I am one who is to give aid and support to those who do.  And if I am faithful to that, to my two talents' worth, I will hear the same thing as one who was faithful with five talents' worth.

Because that's what really matters...doing what I have in front of me to do...not wishing I were in another place, doing something else.

Lord knows I have enough right here to keep me more than busy.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I struggle between striving forward where I feel called and missing what is right in front of me. The calls of the secular world and its rewards can sound much like God's call, I find. Not always easy to know which call I'm hearing!