If the dis­ci­ples had so­cial me­dia

The Catoosa County News - - WORSHIP DIRECTORY - Bo Wag­ner

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 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

Evan­ge­list and au­thor

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