A young woman with no living relatives was discovered as the only living heir to a large inheritance. She was in college at the time, seeking a degree and eking out an existence with little funds for extras or extravagances. Her dorm mates celebrated the news with more enthusiasm than she did, holding a party that she was expected to pay for.
While the party continued the girl stayed in her dorm room reading the letter again and again, trying to wrap her mind around the words and what they meant. She could do anything, she could go anywhere in the world, but she had no idea what she wanted. Just days before her biggest worry had been a challenging professor and now she had big decisions that made her head swim. The only thing she could really focus on was the fact that she had family. She wanted to find out more about the people she had never met or heard of before.
For weeks the heiress spent time visiting the hometown of her distant relatives and talking to the people who had known her relatives. It seemed they had moved from a smaller town to a larger city while their child was still young. She was anxious to know more details, anything to help her feel connected or that she knew them. She had a sense of guilt at the thought of enjoying the money they had worked so hard for without understanding what mattered to them. She hired a private detective when she realized most of the information she wanted was out of her ability to obtain.
The private detective spent several weeks before providing a detailed report on the family. The details included a picture of the family home before they were wealthy, pictures of the individuals in various settings, and descriptions of each family member. There were a few family photos, and these were her favorites. The detective arranged a visit to the family estate and she wandered through the gigantic home. She felt nothing but loss and emptiness, regret that she had not known them. It was beautiful and full of fine things, but it was missing pictures of the family, and she had expected the pictures to be there somehow.
On a whim, the heiress asked to see the home from small town as well. She knew that it was a modest home, nothing like the elegant estate she had just seen. The detective warned her that it was a simple bungalow in a depressed part of the town, and in much need of repairs. She insisted that he try to let her see it. She was given permission to see the homes for a small donation. The owners were very poor, and the detective had suggested it might be a nice gesture. As the driver opened the door to the car, the woman simply stared at the house in wonder. Emotion flowed as she realized this home was what she had really wanted to see.
The homes on either side were just as run down as this house, but to her the home had inviting warmth from the moment she saw it. This was their home, she thought to herself. She wandered through the rooms with a slight smile that she could not force away, imagining the way certain rooms might have been filled with the family, her family. This home gave her a feeling of belonging that she could not discount and she could not bear the idea of leaving it for good. She made an offer for the home that day for twice its value, and would not accept any advice against it. The only explanation she gave was that she would rather live there than anywhere in the world.
—————Thoughts that motivated this story —————
21And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
In Matthew 4:21 we see two more brothers busy at work as fisherman. The last two fishermen Jesus spoke to were casting a net into the sea; and these two are in a boat with their father mending nets. Neither group was trying to seek Jesus’ attention. The author seems to make a point that they were just going about their normal business. We aren’t given a pedigree of their lineage, or even told if they were worthwhile followers of the Jewish faith; let alone told about accomplishments or even the words they spoke. We aren’t told anything about these men at all.
Was that Matthew’s intention? To show us that Jesus noticed them and called to them – and didn’t need to be begged or persuaded into allowing them to go with Him? I think it is reasonable to come to that conclusion. If so, what might that mean to us? In various places in the Bible we see people performing heroic deeds and having great intelligence or other deeds that are admirable and upright. Yet here, four of the twelve disciples are described as not even looking for that honor at all. These men were like the bungalow in this story; simple and not expected to amount to much.
This verse makes me recognize that God doesn’t require a perfect person fully prepared for the role He has for them. Perhaps it is a really simple concept, but that doesn’t mean it is not profound. It was enough just to be willing and ready when Jesus called to them, and it is enough for me as well. I find it amazing, truly amazing. Amazing because the most impressive or famous person that I could ever seek out would not compare to Jesus, yet He invites us in a personal way to a new life with Him. Praise God for loving the least worthy with such perfect acceptance! It is enough to change anyone who accepts from bitterness to gratitude.
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