08.13.14 by brent hand
Jesus had a lot of followers. Thousands. But only 12 disciples. What set these 12 apart?
The answer is: Yes.
Jesus walks by them while they are fishing and he says “Come follow me and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Their response? They drop their nets and follow him, leaving everything they know behind to follow some guy they’ve never seen before to take on some ambiguous task.
Maybe we take their answer for granted. Look at what Jesus was offering. “Fishing for People?” That sounds dangerous and probably illegal. But these guys seemed up for anything.
In 9th grade I went to private school for 3/4’s of the year. It was the only time I spent in private school. The key to any education is that you get out of it what you put into it. And I didn’t get much out of my time at ECA (except Algebra. That’s the only time Algebra ever made sense in my life. Thank you Mrs. Osborne!) but man, did I have fun that year. We’d never get in too much trouble. Just a little mischief. A tame example that I may not tarnish my pristine reputation: on a field trip, we started a water gun battle in the middle of the mall. The battle was epic. We picked sides, took no prisoners, and did our best not to get caught. We were escorted out but luckily just waited by the van for ten minutes and none of the chaperones knew what had transpired.
A few months later, my friend Steven and I snuck out of class to go to the soda machine and get a Dr Pepper or something as twice as harmless. We made it back before the teacher returned and thought we were off the hook. We felt like rebels. No one could mess with us. No one would ever catch us. Turns out my mom was parked in the parking lot about ten feet from the window we escaped through and saw the whole thing. I was questioned heavily upon coming home that afternoon. My parents were concerned about the company I kept. I remember them asking me to just say “no” next time someone suggested we disobey the rules. I think they were worried about what other kind of trouble I’d get into if I didn’t learn to say “no” to people.
I still to this day have problems saying “no,” and I know I can’t say “yes” to everything, but saying “NO” is so boring. “YES” is more fun. And I still think there’s power in saying YES. Anyone can say it. It’s easy to just ignore people or say YES to the wrong things. But the power of YES is the true power of a leader.
I think Jesus likes the word “yes” too. I think Jesus was looking for some folks with a taste for the mischievous that day. Some guys who weren’t always ready to just fall in line and do what everyone else was doing. Someone ready to do something dangerous, or maybe a little reckless. Someone who’s ready for anything.
“What do you want to do today Jesus? Go fish for people? Sounds crazy. I’m in”
That’s the kind of people Jesus chose: people who choose to say “yes” to him no matter how crazy it may sound or how easy it would be to go back to what they were doing before.
All the folks God used in the Bible were so different. Shepherds, farmers, kings, slaves, tax collectors, rich folks, poor folks, pharisees, harlots, children, fathers, mothers, warriors, losers, prophets… but they all had one thing in common. They all said “YES” to God (Jonah of course needed a little more convincing than others. That just goes to show you the trouble you get in telling God no).
So take sometime today to look at the opportunities that God has given you. Always think twice before you say “No” to anything. It may sound crazy at first… but it could be the chance of a lifetime.