What is Wrong with this Picture? A lesson on young leaders.

What is wrong with this picture? A lesson on young people.

This picture, or ones like it, are hanging in churches and homes all over the world.  Every time I see one I am slightly annoyed. Not because it is painted poorly, or is crooked on the wall. No, it is because there are some things wrong with it.

They may not be obvious at first but keep looking. First, if this was your last supper you would think there would be more food. It is looking pretty sparse if this will be Jesus’ last meal until we all eat together again in Heaven. Secondly, for a bunch of Jewish guys they all sure look strangely European.

However, these are not the only things wrong with the picture. Most of the time that I share this picture no one sees the major thing that is wrong and inaccurate.  What is it?  The people in the picture all seem to be between thirty-five and seventy.

In all honesty, this is painted this way because this is how a person pictured them from what they had been told.  We likely think of them this way to. But the picture is wrong and so are our thoughts about the disciples.

The disciples were most likely all between the ages of fourteen to perhaps twenty-one when Jesus called them to follow him. Can you imagine any modern day minister, church, or denomination giving the leadership of their movement to a bunch of teenagers?

Could you imagine the response of anyone saying, I just prayed and God told me to choose these twelve kids to lead this whole thing? One hundred percent of us would think this is foolishness, or at best, have some major reservations.

However, this is actually what Jesus did. He chose a group of young men to invest in.  To spend time with. To give His wisdom and teaching to. He sent them out to do ministry in His name.

They messed up, argued which would be greatest, and ran away when trouble came.  They stood up and spoke to thousands, dedicated themselves to following Jesus, gave all to be with Him, and made incredible statements like, ‘You are the Christ’.  They seemed a little unstable, prone to make rash decisions, doubted, and didn’t understand a lot of what Jesus was telling them.  You put all that together and you have a pretty good description of what the life of a teenager looks like.

The decision to pick these young men was the father’s will. This was the plan. It would not be ours. However, it worked. I would even dare say He was right, and we are wrong.

I would encourage you to reread the gospels, not in your own preconceived contexts, but knowing now that these disciples were in fact young people.  This opens up a whole new view of these books of the Bible.

It also leads to the question, ‘If this is what Jesus did, should I do the same?’

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