Posts Tagged ‘spheres of influence’

Art by Kelly Watts

Art by Kelly Watts

Apparently, there were several concentric circles of influence, courage, and power around King David. In I Chronicles 11, there are several references to both the three and the thirty. Unfortunately, they don’t exactly match up with sister references in II Samuel 23. (See Wikipedia article for details.) And yet, they are provocative in their specificity:

Jashobeam, a Hacmonite, was commander of the Thirty . . . Next in command came Eleazar, Dodo’s son the Ahohite, who was one of the three warriors. . . . Abishai, Joab’s brother, was chief of the Thirty. He raised his spear against the three hundred men he had slain, but he wasn’t considered one of the Three. He was the most famous of the Thirty. He became their commander, but he wasn’t among the Three. . . .  He [Benaiah] was famous among the Thirty, but didn’t become one of the Three. [I Chronicles 10b; 12; 20-21; 25]

These groups represent spheres of influence as well as strategies of leadership.They were predominately known to be mighty warriors.

Jesus also had spheres: the three closest disciples [Peter, James & John, so referenced in Mark 9:2] and of course, the twelve who became the core group, “first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John;Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him” [Matthew 10:2-4] and lastly, the seventy or seventy-two, “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go [Luke 10:1].

In each case, these groups had particular assignments. In David’s case, they were warriors and commanders, built for strength, battle, and protection. They displayed courage and often risked their lives for their beloved King. They came to David gifted in these areas.

On the other hand, the disciples that Jesus selected seemed less than qualified. They came from different walks of life except for a sub-group of them who were identified as fisherman and one a tax collector. We don’t know much about the rest, but we do know they were not the normal supplicants who would follow a rabbi. Many stories, in fact, show some frustration on Jesus’s part at their ability to grasp his teachings and what his teachings meant. Essentially, the disciples did not really come into their own until Jesus commissioned them upon his resurrection.

In recent years, the phrase, “God doesn’t call the qualified, but qualifies the called” has become quite popular. And although that is true in some cases, like the New Testament disciples who learned by doing and following their Teacher, we also have the example of the Three and the Thirty who were already gifted and committed their gifts to the King. They gave what they had.

Both are needed: those who have talents can surrender them to God and those who don’t know what their talents might be can surrender their will to God and their use will evolve.

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