All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. Luke 4:28-30
Then all the people of the region of the Geraseners asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. Luke 8:37
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. John 6:66
Have you ever watched the movie Sherk? I love the scene where the donkey is jumping up and down, yelling, "Pick me. Pick me." Boy do I know that feeling!
I can remember in grade school, not being picked for the basketball game. I can remember in middle school, not being picked to sing with a group for a talent show. I can remember in high school, not being picked for any number of things. And it hurt.
I can also remember, just a few years back, not being picked to receive a rock. I was to attend a workshop and, because of other commitments, could not get there for the first night. You know, the night when everyone gets acquainted and shares their story. I missed that. When I did arrive, I had to tell something about my name and then was given a rock and told to keep it until the last day. On that last day, we were to give our rock to someone who had inspired us. I gave my rock to the other lady from our church and I meant it. I did admire her. I admired her energy and excitement. Her deep commitment to children. BUT -- Yup, you guessed it. No one gave me a rock. I stood there and watched as most of the people crowded around one or two, who had shared their stories on that first night. The night I missed. I felt left out and I felt hurt.
I tell this for a number of reasons. One is to confirm that we never outgrow the feeling of wanting to say, "Pick me. Pick me." And we can be hurt when we are not picked, even when we are in our 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's or 90's. Or older. We want to be picked. We want people to like us enough to want us on their team. In their group. As their friend.
Another reason is to give you two assurances about Jesus. When this happens to you, Jesus does know how you feel. Go back and read the scriptures. The people in his own hometown did not pick Jesus. They wanted to throw him over the cliff. Another time, people told him to leave and then some of his disciples left him. Wow, Jesus does know how we feel when we are on the outside. When we are not picked. When we are not included.
I have great news for you -- Jesus picks you. He picks each of us. He wants us on His team. He wants us in His group. He is handing you His rock.
Now the choice is yours -- Do you say yes?
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
Have you ever been the one picking a team or a group? Did you feel funny about watching as each person was picked and others left standing there? Have you ever been the one left standing? The very last one? Are there better ways to handle dividing a group than "picking" sides?
Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.
LET US PRAY
Pick me. Pick me, Jesus. I want to be on your team. Pick me. Let me play on your team. I will play whatever position you put me in because I know you will equip me. You will give me what I need to be on your team. Pick me. Pick me, Jesus. Pick me to be a disciple. Pick me, Jesus, because I pick you. I pick to be in your group. I will be a trusty disciple and will not turn and walk away. Pick me. Pick me. Thank you for inviting me to join you.………………………………… Amen