Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, November 1, 2014
An old Jewish saying states, “Of all the seven seas God made, He made none choice except the Sea of Galilee.” In other words, God made the Sea of Galilee the best and by His choice He bestowed special blessing upon it. Not surprisingly then, Jesus’ choice for miracles, disciples, and residency also honored the Galilee region. To Jesus’ displeasure, those in Jerusalem considered Galilee a poor choice. They presumed the Messiah would emerge from a more prestigious region.
First impressions are important, so Jesus chose wisely when He started His public ministry. Despite the anticipated criticism, His choice region for selecting disciples was Galilee. Jesus did not go to Herod’s court, where the mighty, noble, and educated were called. Neither did He visit Jerusalem, where the chief priests and elders resided. When God’s work needs to be done, He rarely chooses the elite; rather, His choice is taken from among the common, the weak, and the poor.
Galilee was a remote part of the nation, and its inhabitants were less cultivated and refined than those in Jerusalem and other population centers. The Galilean language, or accent, was harsh and considered uncouth to others, separating them culturally as well as physically. Thus, their very language betrayed them and they were considered unappealing choices for any task and especially unsuited to be attendants to the Messiah.
Christ, however, does not see as man sees. The Galilean’s coarseness did not dissuade our Savior from honoring them by choosing them to serve Him. It was on the banks of this sea where Jesus called His first disciples. Jesus, with His infinite power, could have called Annas and Caiaphus form Jerusalem. Instead, He called brothers Peter and Andrew and brothers John and James for training from Galilee.
No matter His choice, any disciple would need Jesus’s infinite grace, power, and knowledge. Thus, Jesus humbled Himself to demonstrate how He loved the poor just as much as he loved the rich and famous. When it came time for Him to choose those who would become the prime ministers of state in His Kingdom, Jesus did not hesitate to choose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise(1 Corinthians 1:19-20, 25, 27).
Not only were these men from the hinterlands considered by the world to be poor choices, they were literally poor men. They were fishermen. Had they been endowed with noble estates, they would have rejected fishing as an occupation. The path to fame and fortune seldom includes casting and repairing nets, but for these men, the path to eternal riches did.
Christ choosing fishermen with meager estates demonstrates He does not despise the poor and, therefore, we must not either (Proverbs 17:5). Christ did not withhold His evangelism from the poor; rather, He lavished His time on the poor. This was partly because they deserved it and needed the Gospel, but also because He was rejected frequently by the educated and the wealthy.
These fishermen were also unlearned men, not brought up studying books or fine literature. Even the Scriptures were withheld from them except whatever snippets the rabbis grudgingly chose to reveal orally. Nonetheless, these fishermen had gained much through the “school of hard knocks” – they had been disciples of John the Baptist, and were well prepared to follow Christ. Those who have submitted to the discipline of repentance are welcomed by Jesus to the joys of faith in Him and the spreading of His eternal Gospel.
Are you a modern day Galilean? Do others consider you a poor choice? Have you been denied favor by the world because of your poverty, educational level, accent, skin color, family reputation, physical appearance, or other worldly aspect? Jesus’s choice for His disciples reflected intentionally His love for those considered less worthy as judged by worldly standards. Jesus loves those who are marginalized just as much as those who enjoy status and plenty.
When Jesus made His choices of the men who would take His Gospel to the world, He eschewed worldly men. Jesus chose unlikely Galileans who were considered poor choices for anything. If the world does not honor you, know that Jesus loves you just as much as anyone else. Keep in mind that Jesus can use you just as He used the poor Galileans, who transformed from fishermen to fishers of men to bring the Good News to a fallen and hurting world. He has chosen you to assist Him in promoting His Gospel and will never consider you a poor choice. What choice to serve Him will you make today?
In His love and service,
A servant of Jesus Christ
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