My husband and I have been watching the series The Chosen. The second season is interesting because it is focusing on the relationships among the disciples. There are disciples who were with Jesus from the beginning, and there are new disciples who are joining the group as they travel about. All of these people come from different backgrounds and have different personalities.
When Jesus is not around, the disciples fight and quarrel with each other. Some make fun of others. Peter is an especially annoying character who isn’t very nice to some of the disciples, especially Matthew who was previously a tax collector.
The disciples also have individual opinions about how things are to be done, but Peter feels that he is in charge and should make all the decisions. He tells Jesus that when they are alone, and Jesus is away, they don’t know what they’re supposed to do. Jesus tells him to just follow the instructions that he has given them. Jesus schools James and John on how they react in situations, and tells them that he wouldn’t trust them with his power at that point, and he tells Peter how he should lead, but also tells him that it’s not yet time for him to lead while Jesus is with them.
At the end of the third episode, after a long day of healing people, Jesus enters the camp as the disciples are fighting and yelling at each other. Peter is telling Matthew that he will never forgive him for being a tax collector. Jesus says nothing other than “I’m tired and I’m going to bed.” You can see that he is exhausted, but you can also sense that he is disheartened by the behavior of his chosen disciples, the people who will continue on with his work after he dies and is resurrected. This is what he has to work with.
Part of Jesus’ condescension was coming to earth and working with imperfect mortals. This is from a place where he worked with a perfect father (God), and angels; a marked difference.
This makes me think of my church’s leadership today. Jesus Christ is working with imperfect mortals. He gives them instructions, but he is not with them all the time. They have to figure out how to run things according to his instructions. There are different personalities—with different experiences and world views—who are trying to run a global church. They are all going to have opinions about how things should be done. But this is all Christ has to work with. There are no perfect mortals or angels who are running things down here. They are all imperfect human beings.
Therefore, it would behoove us to be patient with local and general leadership who are doing the best they can. God, and Jesus Christ, are not helicopter parents. They don’t put their fingers in our pies. They give us commandments and instructions, and then they leave us to figure things out. We won’t do things perfectly, as none of us are perfect. I’m certain that in the next life many things will be ironed out and done the way they should be done: perfectly. Until then, we all do the best that we can.