If you were putting together a plan to rescue the world from sin and the devil, how would you go about that?
Would you employ Superman – able to do amazing things in a flash – to move directly into all of the dark corners to rid the earth of crime and pain? He could be a shining example and admired by all as he flew around the world making sure that justice and right prevail!
Or would you decide to put Darth Vader to work in your behalf. Using his ultra-sensitive abilities to detect rebellion he could squash any effort that worked against your plan. He would rule with fear and threat, but effectively eliminate enemies one by one. Some may not like his ways, but when his heavy breathing enters the room all plans to overthrow him are thwarted!
I think it’s a good thing we’re not in charge of coming up with this plan. As we look across the gallery of world history we see both of these kinds of approaches and the result has been disastrous.
God’s plan to save the world is just … unthinkable. When the Spirit inspires Peter to write, he doesn’t address the elite and powerful. He writes to the scattered, crippled, persecuted, on-the-run, nothing-to-lose believers. He doesn’t try to tell them to just hang on until help arrives. They ARE the help, bringing the life-giving message throughout the known world.
That rag tag band of afflicted and disoriented strangers were chosen by God. He called them royal. He made them holy. He called them to priesthood – serving from the lowest of positions in this world. God expressed his mercy and empowered the least likely to change the world.
And here we are.