Live the Gospel, Don’t Just Recite It

January 4, 2018

John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” (John 1:35)

In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Andrew overheard this and started following Jesus. This is how Jesus chose one of His apostles? Some random guy following him down the street? Wouldn’t it have been much easier to handpick the best and the brightest to be His apostles?

The Rabbis leading the religious communities at that time were surrounded by scholarly disciples. These disciples studied and trained for years before being sent out as learned leaders. Only the best were called. They were unrelenting, faith-filled, righteous warriors. Why didn’t Jesus tap some of those guys on the shoulder, tell them He was God, and give them their marching orders?

Instead, He made more work for Himself by calling common laborers: fisherman and farmers, even a tax collector. He trained them using parables, which they often had difficulty understanding. They were men whose faith surged and faded. Doubt was always looming. Not warriors at all, but cowards who ran off at the first sign of trouble.

If God’s ultimate goal was spreading the gospel message, His methods were inefficient at best. However, God is not about efficiency. If He were, He would not have given man free will.

God wants us to live the gospel message, not recite it. He’s OK with messy. He wants us to feel and experience. He wants us to love and needs us to suffer at times. He wants us to be challenged, and grow stronger because of those challenges. He wants faith to be part of who we are.

God wants us to take ownership. When it’s ours, we’ll fight for it. We’ll hold onto it.

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