Unlikely to be Chosen

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Scripture Resource Passage: John 1-7

Joachim the Extrovert and Roberto the Introvert

            Yelling and screaming for three hours at the game—no wonder his throat feels like a rough-shod shoe. Words spoken evening’s after a game come out in a basso-sounding rumble. Before the 2020 pandemic shut down the game, Joachim stood with thirty thousand close friends almost every weekend. 

            With one hand on his throat and one hand in the air he whispers, “I love it!” Joachim the extrovert pours out his soul like a heavy rain marching across the field of play.

            The morning after a game his speech scratches with the graveling sound of 40 grit sandpaper, “I would not have missed it for the world!” God was watching and listening to Joachim.

            During a game Roberto had different experiences. His crowd-filled game-time was at least annoying and at worst, tormenting. Roberto seldom attended in person. 

            After the league’s final weekend of play and while shaking his head side-to-side he said, “Yes, I went. No, no, no it was miserable. I stood up for almost three hours with those crazy people yelling and singing. They wore me out. I’d have rather stayed home and watched on television.” 

            Roberto the introvert: his comments clearly affirming portions of his personality. God was also watching and listening to Roberto.

            The same event—two contrasting outcomes. Thankfully, even in crowds God deals with us in formative, particular and precise ways taking into account our soul’s identity.

            Reports in the first seven chapters of the Gospel of John describe Jesus meeting many people. Some choose to be publicly identified others choose to avoid public scrutiny. Wedding guests appear as well as members of Jesus’ family and newly called disciples. 

            What may surprise you is the individuals—the unlikely to be chosen—to whom Jesus reveals the truth of his identity. He speaks with individuals who are not spiritually, culturally or in terms of gender supposed to be sophisticated listeners—the unlikely to be chosen. A variety of clear examples are documented in John’s record—please note three.

            Among the unlikely Jesus selects the Wildman—John the Baptist, the secret disciple-in-training Nicodemus and the scandalous unnamed woman of Samaria. None of these are on a humanly created list of people designated most likely to succeed. None would be selected as favorites to become disciples. 

            After reading the Gospel accounts at least one truth insistently arises: each person, each one a missing piece, each one with extrovert or introvert tendencies experiences Christ’s presenceGod is watching and listening to you, searchingthe unlikely to be chosen.

Life Application Questions

  1. Do you find yourself attuned to spiritual encounters in a crowd or when you are alone?
  2. Is there at least one person in John 1-7 who most resembles you?

Published by Andrew Simkins

Dr. Andrew Simkins provides spiritual direction for individuals and small groups through the regular blog posts found on this site. He resides in northwest Indiana with his beloved, along with nearby children and grandchildren who are the adornment of his life.

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