How many of Jesus disciples would pass a pre-employment screening?
(The example is borderline satirical so please do not be offended)
1st Corinthians 1:26 (ESV) For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
When you are hiring for a high profile appointment, you will screen you prospective candidates and Jesus selected a “small group” before small groups were popular, this small group would turn the world on their head and lets imagine for a second that Jesus had chosen his twelve candidates at the beginning of his ministry to a background agency like most companies who have desirable positions do so consider the possible results…
ALPHA AND OMEGA BACKGROUND CHECK LLC.
Client – Jesus of Nazareth.
Position – Disciple and follower to change the world.
Candidate 1) – Simon Peter – We have reviewed Simon Peter and found him to be ill mannered, prone to rage, prone to boasting, promises much but delivers little and we would find him to not be well equipped to deal with a crisis or stressful situation. Candidate really needs to learn when to stay quiet at times. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 2) – James (son of Zebedee) – Seemed to be overshadowed a little by John, he seems inseparable to him, unsure whether he could be an individual in the group, decent character and appears faithful but his courage may be his undoing as he could end up getting himself killed. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 3) – John – Here is a man who would be too emotionally involved and would stick closer than a brother, he is a keen writer and has a bit of a temper so we are not convinced he would change the world – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 4) – Andrew – Brother of Simon Peter, keen fishermen and is more of a follower than a leader, perhaps may not stick with mission as a recent acquisition from the disciple school of John the Baptist, a possible plus point is he would wish to be closely taught by you. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 5) – Thomas – Nervous character who did not say much and is more of a follower than a leader. Gives impression that he would doubt easily. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 6) – Phillip – Is easily led and will follow with just a few words, possibly teachable but a man of simple education and worked his days as a fisherman, unlikely to be accepted by the Religious people – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 7) – Bartholomew – son of Talmai lived in Cana of Galilee, of noble birth so would have concerns whether he could relate to the common people of Jerusalem. He is an Israelite with some interesting opinions of regions in Galilee, this could be problematic. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 8) – Simon (Zealot) – A real political radical, could upset the whole mission with his anti-Roman rhetoric, this may be an issue with reaching Jews with ties to Rome. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 9) – Thaddeus/Jude – Another Zealot who is fiercely nationalistic, a political tinderbox who may undo all of the good works you plan to do here. Would not sit well with the reigning Roman authorities, he wishes his Messiah to be crowned King – NOT APPROVED.
Candidate 10) – James (son of Alphaeus) – Good strong character but is not assertive or push himself forward in a large group setting, his real flaw is that he does not speak up as much as the others and is lost in a large group setting. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 11) – Matthew – Former tax collector and colluder with the occupying forces from Rome, who is hungry for profit and universally disliked, would never gain popular opinion with the religious types in Jerusalem due to flawed character, blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. – NOT APPROVED
Candidate 12) – Judas Iscariot – Now this is a candidate that we could get behind, good connections with both Roman and Jewish leaders, good with money, sound business acumen and zealous for the cause at hand, this man should be your right hand man – APPROVED
Isn’t it crazy how the world see’s differently to God? This of course is humor with a little artistic license and Jesus never sought out a background investigation on his disciples as he had something better – he could see their hearts. Imagine that, as he was choosing Peter and listening to Peter’s big promises, he knew he would deny his three times. Likewise when he was choosing Judas Iscariot he knew he would be betrayed and he knew to the exact coin how much. Yet he still chose them?
If he (who is sinless and perfect) made such choices in his inner circle, in his small group, in the cell group he would use to turn the world upside down, what makes you think that he would not choose you, with your minor indiscretions to do his work today.
One of the biggest disqualifications to the work of the Lord today is ourselves, we are like Thomas and doubt, we are like Simon and are a nationalistic political zealot, we are like Peter and run off at the mouth and make promises we cannot keep. I recognize characteristics in each of the disciples I would rather not have.
A question that I would have to ask you dear reader is “What handicaps do you put on your service to God?” What do you put before God as an excuse to not serve him? I would encourage you to not do so, God can get his will achieved without you but imagine the blessing of being used by God in the way you were called? That is why God asks us, because as a father I know how cool it is to do things with my kid!
If you have disqualified yourself due to sin then you have to do the following…
REPENT – Apologize to God and repent, make yourself right with God and apologize to anyone you have sinned against, get back to square one with God and get right with him, that is the foundation.
REVISE YOUR ACTIONS – Simply take a U turn and let go of that sin and give it to God. Change the harmful direction that caused you to sin in the first place.
REJOIN THE FIGHT – The Lord wants to use you and has given you talents, Jesus himself said that “the harvest is plenty but the laborers are few”. Dedicate your talents to his will and his glory and rejoin the fight unless you are biblically disqualified then you will be blessed in the long run.
I hope that today’s article was a challenge, a blessing or even an exhortation, please like, comment or share on whatever social media platforms you use. I pray this message is used to the glory of God.