weekly devotional

Week 9

March 2, 2024

Let’s just say that you were given the task of changing the entire world. No, not just by yourself, but you could choose 12 people to help you out in that task. Who would you choose? Probably the President. And the former President. Maybe some business leaders like Jeff Bezos. The Dalai Lama would make it onto the list. Most definitely The Pope. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback for the Chiefs? Yes, possibly. Oh, and Taylor Swift…you would have to have add her on also.

To do something as monumental as changing the world, you would need people with great influence…people whom others already look up to for wisdom and advice. To use the term that is so much in vogue today, you are looking for ‘influencers’ , those who have an influence on the behavior of all of us ordinary people. You would have to put together a team of people that everyone in the world had heard of and maybe knew something about.

But when Jesus ushered in the Kingdom of God and picked 12 men to accomplish the task, He did not go to the Roman Emperor and ask him for help. Nor did He go to the Jewish High Priest. In fact, Jesus deliberately stayed away from anyone who had influence in the world and instead picked 12 absolute nobodies. 4 fisherman, an IRS agent and 7 others whose jobs are not revealed to us. Jesus picked 12 people with no influence, no qualifications and no ability to carry out the task ahead of them…changing the world by bringing the good news of the Kingdom of God to all.

How did they do it? It is simple bit of theology that shows how it was done. God takes those who are unqualified and qualifies them. And He does it by the presence of His Son Jesus Christ in out lives. I am reminded of Acts 4:13 which says, “Now, when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.

Peter and John were said to be bold in preaching the good news to the people. They were teaching publicly, which they had not done before. The religious leaders, watching what they were doing and listening to their words, were absolutely amazed. They knew that they were just fishermen. They had not been theologically trained. They had not been to rabbi seminary. They should not have had the ability to teach as they were doing. Where did they get this? And they remember that Peter and John, along with others, had been with Jesus. They had been unqualified and now they were qualified because they had simply been with Jesus.

There is also Acts 17:5-6 which says, “But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace and gathered a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too.”

Remember that these 12 men were not just off to the side having a little Old Testament book club or a little religious study time…it was obvious even by Acts 17 that something momentous was happening…these men were turning the world upside down.

12 men who had nothing going for them in the eyes of the world. They were not influencers and probably totally unknown outside of their family circles in Galilee. And yet they were able to preach the Word of God boldly and revolutionize the world. How? They were with Jesus.

Just another note that comes to mind…why did God choose such insignificant people? So that all the glory would go to God. If Jesus picked the most important people in the world to change it, then the credit would go to them. After all, they had the audience, the power and the influence to change whatever they would want to change. But if the people with no power and no influence could change everything, then the credit, the worship, and the glory would go to The Lord.

So how about you? We don’t have much influence as far as the world goes. We have our families, our jobs and out little circle of influence, but that is about it. But the key to having an influence in the world is simple. Be with Jesus. Sit at His feet and learn from Him. And you, who are unqualified for the task at hand, will be qualified by Him to bring the Kingdom of God into the world.

March 2, 2024