Story of the Day for Tuesday May 31, 2011
Led to the Truth
Jesus said, “Come, follow me.” And they left their nets and followed him.
Secretary of State, William Seward, negotiated with Russian officials. At four in the morning in March of 1867, he hammered out a treaty. Russia agreed to sell some of their territory for about 2 pennies an acre.
Many critics were furious. Horace Greeley, the famous journalist of the day, called the agreement “a dark deed done in the night.” Soon the purchase was popularly dubbed “Seward’s Folly.”
Seward had just negotiated the purchase of over a half million square miles called Alaska. The timber had no value – there were abundant forests much closer. There were few profitable resources in fish and fur. But Seward had the foresight to see the importance of Alaska from a diplomatic standpoint. Relations between Russia and Great Britain were tense. Seward bought Alaska, in part, to ease international relations.
But here is the point: while Seward had good reasons to buy Alaska, he was totally ignorant of the best reasons: the gold and oil. Today, Alaska has more natural resources than any other state in the Union, but Seward didn’t know that at the time.
When Peter and Andrew left their fishing trade to follow Jesus, they had no idea that his purpose was to be tortured to death as the sacrifice for our sins, and then rise from the dead, so we might have eternal life. They had been following Jesus for quite some time before Jesus ever explained his true mission, and when he did, the disciples were either confused or upset! Peter was shocked. “This shall never happen to you, Lord!”
Wait a minute – if the disciples did not understand that Jesus would die and rise for our salvation until after the resurrection, then why did they follow him?
The disciples did not drop their fishing nets and follow a man they had never seen. People so crowded the shore to hear this man that Jesus had to commandeer Peter’s boat and push off from shore to teach the multitudes. Before Peter and the other disciples left everything to follow Jesus, they had already seen his compassion for the sick. They had already witnessed his mercy to sinners.
Just as Seward made a sound decision, but ended up getting far more than he could imagine, so the disciples followed Jesus because he was changing their lives, but found out later that he would save their souls.
God doesn’t dump the whole truckload of Truth on us the minute we believe.
Jesus did not immediately reveal the whole truth of the Gospel to his own disciples. Gradually and patiently, he led them to that truth. If you feel guilty because you don’t immediately blurt out the plan of salvation when you first meet a new face, maybe your feelings of guilt are not coming from God. Maybe, like Jesus, we can begin by demonstrating the compassion and mercy of the kingdom life. . . so that they may long for, and find, its source.
(copyright by climbinghigher.org and by Marty Kaarr)