Read: John 1:35-42

The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. (v. 37)

They smelled like fish. They almost never missed an opportunity to misunderstand what Jesus was saying. One of them was a thief; ten were cowards. They did not possess education, social status, wealth, or business acumen; some of them probably could not read or write. If Aristotle chose Socrates to be his disciple, and if Socrates chose Plato to be his disciple, couldn’t Jesus have been a little more selective in his choice of disciples? Yet these are the men who “turned the world upside down” for Christ (Acts 17:6).

When pastors attend a church leadership conference they are often told that one key ingredient for success in the ministry is to surround themselves with solid, capable leaders. Jesus seemed to do the opposite. On almost every page of the Gospels, the disciples are doing or saying something which demonstrates that they have no idea what Jesus is about. Truly, “we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7).

Churches yearn to be country clubs of normalcy. We try so hard to be respectable. But Christian discipleship is inherently messy. There is a reason why “the church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners” cliché has lasted so long—it’s true. And thank God for that. The church is God’s refuge for ordinary, imperfect, sin-sick disciples who are in the process of being transformed. The country club mentality has to go.  —Lou Lotz

As you pray, thank God for the church.