If the disciples had social media
I like and use social media. It is a great tool to spread the gospel. But sometimes I wonder if we don’t overestimate it...
Passing by the shores of Galilee, Jesus knew it was time to begin his public ministry. Looking down into a boat, He saw two men named James and John. Calling to them he said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”A silent moment passed and neither of them responded in any way. They both seemed oblivious to his presence. So, calling to them yet again he asked, “Are you going to come or not?” John looked up at him, seeming to notice Him for the first time and said, “What? Oh, I’m sorry, were you talking to us?”
“Yes,” said the Master, “I was. What exactly are you doing that has you so distracted?”
“Oh,” replied James, “we are trying to find a net mending app.” “A what?” asked Jesus. “A net mending app,” said John. “We have these new smart phones, and there is an app for about anything. If we look long enough, we should be able to find a net mending app.”
“Why don’t you just mend them the way you mended them before smart phones?”
At that suggestion, James and John just stared at him blankly for a second, as if his words were not quite registering. Then James said, “We can’t do stuff without an app!”
Sighing, Jesus went his way, looking for disciples not quite so engrossed in app hunting.
Some months later, Jesus took his disciples up into a mountain, gathered a large crowd of people around them and was preparing to preach when Matthew spoke up. “What are you doing, Lord?” “Well,” replied Jesus, “I am going to preach a message that will become famous. We will call it ‘The Sermon on the Mount.’”
“May I see a copy of it?” asked Matthew.
“I suppose so,” said Jesus, handing him a few sheets of paper, “Why do you want to see it?”
Matthew said nothing at that question, he just stared hard at the paper, his brow furrowing more and more with each passing moment. Finally he looked up at Jesus and said, “This will never do, Lord. This message is thousands of characters long.” You are going to need to condense it to 140 characters. There is no way to get a message out to the masses unless you can tweet it. This sermon is doomed to fade into obscurity unless you can shorten it dramatically. I recommend something like ‘4u2b blessed ur going 2 have 2 radically change ur ways. It won’t always b
pleasant, but do it neway, bc I want u2b more like me.’” “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” said Jesus, “It’s so general that it isn’t actually going to change anybody!”
Matthew just looked at him, shook his head, and walked away mumbling about the need to be cutting edge if the ministry was ever going to be effective.
A few months later, Jesus performed one of His greatest miracles. His friend Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jesus commanded that the stone be rolled away. Then, he cried with a loud voice “Lazarus! Come forth!” Immediately, dead Lazarus was restored to life after being dead for more than 96 hours. People shouted, rejoiced, and glorified God. But not everyone. Peter, for one, seemed visibly upset.
“What is wrong with you, Peter, did you not see what I just did?” asked the Lord.
“Yes, Lord, I did. But how is anyone else going to know? This kind of thing should be publicized, but you didn’t give any of us a heads up what you were going to do, which means that no one took a video to upload to Youtube!”
“Youtube? Seriously?” asked Jesus. “You think I need to have my miracles appear on Youtube? Why don’t you just write them all down, we’ll compile them into a book called the Bible, and people can read about them?”
“Well now,” replied Peter, “That might actually work, provided we can put it in a e-file downloadable to an e-reader.”
Jesus just shook his head, and said, “What is wrong with all of you? You act as if we have some kind of an insurmountable problem unless we use gadgets and gizmos. Let’s just preach the gospel, print the Bible, pray for power, and put up churches around the world.”
“If that’s what you want us to do, Lord, we will,” said Andrew.
“Good,” said the master. “Now, is there anything else?”
“Yes Lord, one last thing,” said Bartholomew, “You might want to check and see if something is wrong with Judas, because he just defriended you on Facebook.”
Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mooresboro, N.C., a widely traveled evangelist, and author of several books, including a kid’s fiction book about the Battle of Chickamauga, “Broken Brotherhood.” He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evangelist and author