. . . a clean slate . . .
Just the sound of it makes me feel refreshed! I think of fresh linens being spread over a bed. The newness and beauty of the first signs of spring. The smell of brand new pencils and paper at the beginning of the school year. I see a clean chalk board, a clear mind, a bright blue sky.
What comes to mind for you??
Well, I got to thinking about all of this because of something I read the other day…
Of all the “over-qualified” individuals that Christ could have chosen to follow him as His close friends – thereafter known as disciples, and He chose the most “under-qualified” of that society. He chose fishermen. Which in turn says to me . . . He chose men that were Teachable -that were open minded with their hearts and souls (imagine that).
I don’t know why, but this reminds me of a time when I was trying to get a job as a waitress. I had a degree, but no restaurant experience. I naively thought it would be easy to get this type of job . . . I was wrong. Surprisingly, it was VERY difficult, and I ended up filling out one application after another. Most places were hiring, but insisted they needed someone with experience, a.k.a . . . Not Me.
There were a couple of restaurants that let me down easy by saying they actually prefer to hire newbies, because they could be taught with a new slate, but would rather hire me as a hostess first (not what I was looking for).
Finally, I got my “Big Break” (that’s truly how it felt at the time, lol) with Macaroni Grill, who had their reservations about me, but decided to give me a shot. And they had to take the time to train me, but because I had no other relevant experience, it was easy to teach me their way of doing things; and I think they were pleased to see my eagerness to learn the proper way of doing things and to do them as I was shown how.
I think this situation reminds me of the disciples, because None of them had any “experience” either. At least not the kind you would think of as pre-requisite material for being a disciple. But then again, maybe that was the pre-requisite . . . the EXACT material needed.
I think Jesus was looking for a couple of fresh slates to write His heart on.
Which is why, I believe, He passed on the more spiritually “elite.” He didn’t choose the teachers of the law or priests that had grown up learning the things of God, because Jesus was about to do a New thing.
He was bringing a NEW covenant to His people. The covenant of grace. And what better way to start, than with a NEW group of people?
Still, He could have chosen someone with position or authority … but, no – He chose a few fisherman – going back again to His birth – being born into a “lowly” position. [When we are weak, He is very strong].
Jesus cares about the average Joe. God wanted to use average people to tell His story. He wanted humble, teachable people – the best examples of His love and grace to a sinful people – to shine above ANY other message they had heard yet.
Jesus promised to make the disciples fishers of men, and they immediately left to follow Him . . . they may not have understood what that meant at first, but what they could see was this man’s authority . . . so they stopped what they were doing, left EVERYTHING, and followed Him.
Jesus didn’t have to waste time “proving” Himself to them . . . they could tell by looking at Him, by hearing the authority in His voice that He was the REAL deal.
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
These fisherman probably knew enough about the law to get by with working within its limitations, but fishing was their life and their trade. They were businessmen, not religious zealots.
As a great pastor I know has said many times: We don’t have to be “qualified” to be Christ followers – He qualifies us.
God loves us all and has a special plan for our lives regardless of our occupations or self appointed ideas about our “place in life.“
Just follow Him, pursue Him, and He will make the rest clear.