“And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted and they came to Him. And He appointed twelve….” Mark 3:13-14a (NASB)
I know I tread on thin ice. It’s a bad habit and not pleasant when I hit a crack and fall into icy waters. But sometimes, I feel certain thoughts are worth going out on a limb for.
For years in my particular denominational circles we’ve heard what could happen if each believer would/could reach out and touch the life of just one person with the Gospel message. I must admit, it always sounded good in theory to me. If it indeed would truly happen, I can’t even imagine the world we’d live in! It made evangelism seem easily attainable to those of us who aren’t necessarily gifted in that area. I mean, really how hard can it be to touch the life of just one person!
Today it dawned on me that the entire “Each One Reach One” philosophy might not push us as hard as maybe we should be pushed. Before someone calls for tar and feathers, let me preface the reminder of my time by stating I am not knocking “Each One Reach One.”
I know the push for each person touching just one other person for Christ wasn’t meant for us to simply reach out to one person and then no others in our life time. But it was more of a starting place to get us to realize the simplicity of reaching others because we make things so hard sometimes. I believe it was intended to go far beyond just checking one person off the list as “reached” in our life and then living as we pleased for the remainder. It is motivational. Okay I am getting preachy – but bear with me.
Right now I’d like us to consider a new line of thinking. It’s one I found in the Biblical book of Mark today. What if each one of us reached twelve people? Jesus started a religious revolution with only twelve people. This is quite phenomenal considering His ministry lasted roughly only 3 years. Because His earthly time was limited, He reached His twelve all at the same time.
Do you think you could specifically touch twelve people in your lifetime? Let’s take a look back at Christ for a moment. He pretty much left everyone He met better off for knowing Him (okay, a few weren’t but it wasn’t for Christ’s lack of trying!). When you met Christ on the dusty roads of the Middle Eastern plains, you left knowing what and WHO He stood for, whether you agreed or not. That’s something that should be said for each one of us today.
However, He chose twelve to “be with Him” so He could “send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14) and He gave them authority. He found twelve men to pour Himself into in a way that He couldn’t do with folks He would just touch for a day or so. I had to think since Jesus is our example to imitate, why would I settle for just reaching one! Why not twelve? At least!
Does twelve seem like a lot to you? Well, let’s start with me. I have a husband who I played a part into bringing him to Christ. That’s one. I have a daughter and son-in-law I pour into bringing the total to three. Then we have the two grandbabies. That’s five.
I have coached two people over several months – now I’m up to seven. That’s over half way to twelve and my life isn’t over yet. You know something, Three Dog Night, the group from the 1970’s sang a hit song (back then) called “One is the Loneliest Number” and maybe they had something spiritual there without realizing it – what a hoot! How lonely for us to only reach one person in our lifetime!
Yes, everyone we come in contact with should know what we stand for and Who we stand for on a daily basis. That is good solid lifestyle witnessing. But everyone should have specific people (family or friends) that they “pour” themselves into so those people can be sent out and pour themselves into others as well.
Since God impressed that upon me during my personal reading time, I thought I’d share it with you. Oh yeah – before anyone reminds me – I know one of Jesus’ twelve turned out to turn on Him. But in all fairness, that was a one-time event with a very one-time purpose that will never need to be duplicated. And they did replace Judas later on.
Why settle for one? Jesus didn’t – in more ways than one!