Time spent with God is time reaching souls
The basic purpose we worship with others becomes an opportunity to share allegiance to God beyond the walls of the church. When Jesus began his ministry, after the temptations from Satan, he no longer was alone with the message his Father gave him. We know that even after choosing twelve to be his closest companions, the numbers of disciples were much larger than them. It was seen when Jesus sent 72 disciples out to proclaim the gospel. They went in groups of two proclaiming the good news, healing many ills, removing evil spirits, and reaching the poor from Matthew’s beatitudes i.e. the Poor in spirit.
Speaking of the closest chosen, none of them were college graduates, as far as we know. They were fishermen, or men of everyday workers from the fields. The one criteria they all had was an interest in the message Jesus spoke and a faith that was not apparent originally, but soon caught on and this faith saw each of them to their martyrdom, except John.
It has been said that by today’s standard of starting a business, one would need personnel who were expert in their chosen position and would be faithful in their endeavor of activity. Choosing to start a corporation as Jesus did, it would certainly collapse after a short time. Yet, God already had the plan to begin a ministry without experts, such as Pharisees, and the one reason was and is now as well, he needed workers who understood why they were chosen.
College degrees, PHD’s, and a long list of attributes would not fit this ministry. “I am too educated for such trivial actions as Jesus was promoting” they might say. That would include Scribes and Pharisees who knew the Law, but were too much into their own pride to lower themselves with the poor, tax collectors, and prostitutes.
There is one more aspect to the plan of God; the Holy Spirit. Of course some may say that it wasn’t until the Feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit filled the room where many had gathered and received the promise Jesus told them to wait for. The Holy Spirit was already present and assuredly was with those original 72 performing feats of spiritual and divine prudence as the Spirit guided them.
For those who think that Pentecost was the first event where the third person of the Trinity became known, look at Genesis 1: 1-2. “While a mighty wind swept over the waters.”
“But Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I have no relations with a man? And the angel said in reply, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Lk 1: 34 - 35).
With the pronouncement of the angel to Mary, Jesus sending out 72, and the original 12 as Apostles, evangelization was born and as they went proclaiming the Good News to those who didn’t know Jesus, and even the prophecies of the Old Testament, the mission still exists in the 21st century and the very reason we must listen and hear the message of Christ and share it with all we meet.
Can anyone imagine if the ministry of Jesus would have begun in the Temple and with the Scribes and Pharisees, a group already hated because of their hypocrisy and ignoring the very ones Isaiah spoke of “The Mission to the Afflicted” found in chapter 61. The very reading Jesus used when he was rejected; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and to let prisoners go free, and proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Lk 4: 18 - 19).
Education is wonderful and is a necessary component of our modern society. But, if all the descriptive symbols that follow our name is what determines the amount of faith a person possesses, we need to take another look at who has been sent to proclaim the Good News. Are we chosen by God based on degrees or the faith that dwells within our very being?
Ralph B. Hathaway