Unlikely American Hero

by Joseph Bayly

It isn't likely he could serve on the board of most churches because he was a single young adult.

It isn't likely he'd be asked to speak at a liberated Christian women's conference because all his disciples were men.

It isn't likely he'd be asked to speak at a men's retreat because he cried publicly.

It isn't likely he'd pass most evangelism training courses because he adhered to no soul-winning formula and approached each person differently.

It isn't likely he could be the pastor of most churches because he said that people who remarry after divorce (except for marital unfaithfulness) are guilty of adultery.

It isn't likely he'd be asked to supply many pulpits because he often just told stories. And they were short.

It isn't likely he'd prepare Christian education materials because a lot of his stories were open-ended.

It isn't likely he could serve on a Christian college faculty because he drank wine.

It isn't likely he'd be asked to teach at a seminary because he had no earned doctorate and spent most of his time in practical work with his students.

It isn't likely he could serve on the board of a Christian institution or organization because he was poor.

It isn't likely he could preserve a reputation for leadership because he regularly took time out for rest and washed the feet of his followers.

It isn't likely he could be a counselor because he reinforced people's sense of sin, was directive, and turned from those who didn't respond.

It isn't likely he could run an electronic church because he told a rich man to give away his money to the poor, not to support his own ministry.

It isn't likely he could fill in at a youth conflicts seminar because he stood up to his parents when he was twelve (Luke 2:39-50), appealing to a higher responsibility, and refused to obey his mother when he was in his early thirties (John 2:1-4; Matt. 12:46-50).

It isn't likely he could fill in at most other seminars because he defined success in nonmaterial terms.

It isn't likely he'd be used as an example of dying, because in his last hours he felt alienated from God the Father.

It isn't likely his opinion would be sought or heeded, because he spoke of his followers in terms of a "little flock" and "two or three," warned against times when all men speak well of believers, and said they should expect to be persecuted.

It isn't likely he'd expect people to come into church buildings; he'd probably be preaching in Central Park or Boston Common.

If Jesus were here today...poor church, poor world.

Excerpt from A Voice in the Wilderness by Joseph Bayly, Cook Communications Ministries Publication. Used by permission.