He . . . saw a tax collector named Levi . . . . And He said to him, “Follow Me.” —Luke 5:27
In 2002 the Oakland Athletics built a winning baseball team in an unorthodox way. They had lost three top players after 2001, and the team didn’t have money to sign any stars. So Oakland’s general manager, Billy Beane, used some often-neglected statistics to assemble a group of lesser-known players either “past their prime” or seen by other teams as not skilled enough. That ragtag team ran off a 20-game winning streak on the way to winning their division and 103 games.
This reminds me a little of the way Jesus put together His “team” of disciples. He included rough Galilean fishermen, a zealot, and even a despised tax collector named Levi (Matthew). This reminds me that “God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Cor. 1:27). God used those dedicated men (minus Judas) to ignite a movement that affected the world so dramatically it has never been the same.
There’s a lesson here for us. Sometimes we seek out the familiar, the influential, and the rich. And we tend to ignore people with less status or those with physical limitations.
Jesus put some of society’s less desirable people on His team—treating everyone the same. With the Spirit’s power and guidance, we too can honor all people equally. —David Egner