Wouldn’t it be fascinating to do a Prequel to Jesus’ public ministry, highlighting, especially, the pre-Jesus lives of the twelve guys who would become disciples, then friends, of this one called the Messiah. There have been movies depicting a very other-worldly, spotlessly white-robed guy, like a Charlton Heston Moses pointing a finger and the men almost levitating in his direction. I wasn’t there, but I have a hunch it didn’t go down like that at all. First, Scripture is pretty clear that there was nothing strange or out of the ordinary about Jesus that people would have automatically picked him out in a crowd. Second, the guys he chose were not intellectuals or high-brow or aristocratic or spectacular. They were working men, everyday Jewish men who looked and sounded much like Jesus himself. And they were not the ‘type’ of guys one would look to for launching a start-up global mission. To hear their before-and-after stories would be so cool! A lot would probably start with something like, “I never in my life imagined…” The three plus years following this new Teacher had to have flipped their lives upside down, inside out, backwards and forwards multiple times. The fateful week in Jerusalem at Passover had to have torn away the last vestiges, the last hopes, of anything remotely resembling normal. Then came that Sunday morning!
The forty (40) days Jesus spent with his guys following his Resurrection are largely a mystery (as are the ten (10) days between his ascension and Pentecost) since so few details have been written down for us. God is not One to slip up on communication, so maybe that was divinely carved out as an intimate time reserved just for Jesus and his tightknit band of friends (can you imagine what those days must have been like, how thrilled, how totally curious, those men must have been, meeting secretly with Jesus after all the recent traumatic events?). It makes me a bit crazy with curiosity myself, wondering how the transition went, how that band of brothers regrouped, how many times Jesus needed to reassure them they were forgiven, how majestically and freely Jesus poured out greater and greater quantities of his love on them, into their hearts? Maybe the best we can do is look at what we see these men doing (after Jesus is taken up into heaven) as the direct fruit of all those private discussions and Q&As and parties – (there had to have been parties! Jesus even repeated the gossip he’d heard about himself: “This guy is a glutton and a drunk, a friend of scoundrels and tax collectors!” Luke 7:34, TPT) What questions would you want answered before taking up the ‘easy yoke and light burden’ that was nurturing a new church to life? How many reassurances of his love and his help would you need before saying, ‘Yes!’? Would you have asked for clarification about this Comforter Jesus talked about? The power? Together, let’s mull these things over a bit tomorrow at 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM, 6 PM. PD