Ordinary people

Daily Reading for May 1 • Saint Philip and Saint James, Apostles

The disciples were simple people. They were ordinary folks who worked for a living, paid bills, and had to fulfill all the mundane responsibilities of life. Some were married and had to take care of those relationships properly. A few certainly must have had children. They had all the ingredients for the recipe of ordinary, everyday people. Just like us.

The disciples weren’t anything special. They hadn’t established themselves as prominent authorities in any field. They hadn’t made a name for themselves. They possessed no special talent, no unusual gift for anything other than just living a regular life. Just like us.

But Jesus called them. He called them to follow him, to be with him and learn from him. He called them to see him heal and touch and transform people’s lives and to hear him teach amazingly simple yet startlingly counterintuitive truths. Just as he has called us.

So, the disciples followed him, and they were amazed to see Jesus’ astonishing works, to hear his challenging words. They’d never seen anyone do things like this. But Jesus told them that they would not only do the same work he did, but “even greater things.”

Greater things than Jesus did? It’s hard to believe. Yet Jesus really only touched the lives of a handful of people in a very small area of the planet. The disciples who followed him, and those who followed them even until today, have made an impact on the entire world, sharing the message of God’s loving forgiveness and gracious acceptance in word and deed. As a result of their simple acts of obedience, the world is a different place.

Clearly those simple, ordinary men would become extraordinary servants in their work of spreading the good news about their Master. Many traveled far, worked hard, and ultimately gave their lives for the cause, just as their Master had done.

Jesus’ words are meant for us too. He challenges us to follow him, to do even greater things for him. It’s not about who we are—our personality or gifts or background. It’s about how willing we are. How touched we are by Jesus’ love. How filled we are by his Spirit. So, what’s stopping you? Even greater things await you.

From Living Loved: Knowing Jesus as the Lover of Your Soul by Peter Wallace. Copyright © 2007. Used by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY. www.churchpublishing.org

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