Who remembers when US Weekly (a US magazine) had a segment that was titled —the stars are just like us? Underneath this feature, they gave us different reasons why celebrities where just like the average Joe. They highlighted the kind of food they ate, where they got their groceries, and the type of cars they drove. That way people were able to relate with these elite group of people that seemed so out of reach. It made you feel better if George Clooney shopped for groceries at Walmart or if Jennifer Aniston, ate burgers for lunch. The purpose of their segment was relatability.
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There is a certain power that is dispersed when you can relate to something or someone. You understand the situation better, you have more empathy, and you somehow believe that you can achieve the inevitable if someone you can relate to has done so. That is why organizations now preach for diversity, that way when you see someone like you as a part of an organization you are interested in, then you too can go ahead and conquer in a similar role.
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So let's tie this back to Christianity and the Bible. Most times when we hear about Jesus or the disciples, and the wonderful things they accomplished for the world, they seem unbelievable. We often believe or are led to believe that these people were super-human.
But that is not the truth. Jesus said in the book John14 vs. 12— “He who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my Father.” Preachers like to spiritualize things or people overtly. Yes, Jesus was God, but when he came on earth, he came as a man, not as a divine being. That was why he was able to make that declaration in the book of John.
The people he chose to work with, were also everyday people like us. He didn’t come from heaven with an elite group of angels to influence culture. He chose them from the people who were already here, living their lives. Okay let’s see how relatable these disciples were:
They doubted him: even if he had performed various miracles in their presence, whenever they encountered another difficulty, they questioned his abilities. Doesn’t that sound like us? It sure does sound like me. God has done enormous things for me, but when I am faced with another trial, I begin to wonder if he would show up again. But the more you spend time with him and grow, the more comfortable you become with trusting him completely.
They were fearful: at the point when Jesus told them to go ahead of him by boat in Matthew 14, the winds become so heavy, that they feared for their lives. The disciples thought they were going to drown until Jesus came to their rescue. How many of you have dealt with fear? I grew up a very fearful child. But in 2 Timothy 1:7, the Bible says God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. The next time fear creeps up on you, rebuke that sucker in the name of Jesus! But aren’t we glad that these world changers also felt fear? We sure are not alone in this.
They had businesses: before they joined Christ on his ministry, they spent time developing skills, that Jesus would later use in his ministry. Peter was a fisherman when he met Jesus. He went ahead to become a fisher of men as Jesus put it. These people weren’t idle. They were hardworking and disciplined, which made it easier for God to use them. Some people feel like to work with God; you have to abandon your business or 9-5. Except he has told you explicitly to do so, make sure you are busy working. Paul said in a passage of scripture that he toiled day and night so he wouldn’t be of any burden to anyone.
They had relationships: I remember when I told one of my friend’s who wanted to be married at all costs, that Peter was a married man, and her face lit up with glee. Jesus was said to have healed Peter’s mother-in-law when she was ill. So that means Peter was married at some point. So if you are a hopeful romantic like me, not to worry, God wouldn’t require you to give up your desires for a relationship, to follow him. As long as it doesn’t get in the way of service to him
They told lies: I know, I know. This is a bad one; it doesn’t mean that I am giving a stamp of approval on telling lies. But I just wanted to highlight their humanity. These people weren’t perfect beings, but God used them anyway. So if you are not perfect, don’t feel like God can’t use you as long as you choose to walk closely with him.
Don’t buy into the myth that you have to be perfect, have a special call on your life, or have angel Gabriel appear to you before God can use you. These people Christ chose were regular human beings like us. They failed, cried, feared, won, lost, and rejoiced together. As they grew and matured, especially after Jesus left, they accomplished great things for the kingdom and left big shoes for us to fill. Christianity is a journey; you live, and you learn every day until we get to perfection in Christ Jesus on that glorious day.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.