“And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them.”  1 Samuel 22:2

“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given me out of the world. They were yours and You gave them to Me….”  John 17:6

There are many similarities between David and Jesus.  Of course from a human lineage standpoint, Jesus came from the line of David and his city Bethlehem.  David was described as a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) as well as a man of God by so many prophets of the bible.  However, David was a man, a human, a creation and not the creator and as such, as are we all, he was a sinner.

Yet the similarity that I want to discuss concerns those who were drawn to them, whom both Jesus and David thought fitting to be in company with and to lead.  For while David became a beloved king of the great nation of Israel, leading legions of great men.  He did not start out that way.  No first there was just a very few trusted young men that accompanied him.  Once he found a relatively safe place to shelter, the cave of Adullam, people started to come to him.  These were not the cream of Jewish society who came to him.  Hardly, for people who became indebted to others were looked down upon and lived a horrid existence.  We’re not told why the others were in distress nor discontented but it was a common belief during that time (and unfortunately still carried out today) that those who were in distress deserved it because they had done something wrong.  They deserved the ill treatment they were receiving.  David could have sent them away.  He could have been afraid of what hanging around these people would do to his reputation and his future standing.  He could have done what the rest of society did; shun them.  Or maybe, David could have used them for his own selfish purposes against Saul, and then discarded them when they were of no further use.  David did none of those things.  David took pity on them.  He brought them together under his protection and served them as their captain, their leader.

Jesus started out alone.  Yet Jesus as God come down from heaven knowing all men, could have had his pick of the wisest, most educated, strongest of society.  Had he desired to use it in that way, none could have resisted His will.  But who did he choose?  And really, choose is the wrong word for Jesus proclaims that His disciples were given to Him, by name, by none other than His Heavenly Father Himself.  Fisherman; uneducated, unsophisticated.  A tax collector; filthy scum.  The others we’re not sure what they did as a vocation but none were known outside their small circle of followers at least at the beginning.  It is hard to believe that the world of that time and/or even today would have chosen any one of the them to be a close confidant, trusted keeper of the word or future anointed leaders of Christ’s church.

Here’s the thing, the world might not have, we might not have;  but God did.  The same way God brought those people to David, God gave to Jesus eleven trusted disciples.  Neither man had to keep them; but they were open to the possibilities that God had in mind with and through them.

So today, we are told to look for those who have many letters behind their name.  We’re told to look for those who have a proven track record by being sports team captains and class presidents.  If I have many to choose from let me choose only the best.  In my time in the corporate world, I have seen it become a common practice to use a person’s credit history as defining measurement of their employ-ability.  Have a mark against you; see you later.

Understand this; I am not anti education; I have a degree.  I have a few letters behind my professional name based on designations I have received.  But does that mean those are the only people I want to associate with?  When I am given a chance to choose people to work with, who am I willing to include on my team?  Who has God almighty told me, through His Son Jesus Christ are the truly blessed ones:  the meek, the poor, those who mourn.  I can’t say that seems to describe many that the world would call A-listers.

I believe God wants us to understand how much more alike we are than different.  Over and over again, through His Word, He shows us just how much He is able to do with those whom the world overlooks.  And if we are open to it, when we decide not to overlook any; how much God will do with and through us as well.  May it be that we have a humble heart and welcoming spirit.  Being truly thankful and praising God for all those, no matter their worldly stature, who He has deemed appropriate to bring together.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we humbly proclaim that in Your Eyes we are all equal; all fallen.  We are so thankful that You do not see fit to leave us to our own fallen natures; fighting desperately to get ahead in a worldly way.  Help us to live with the openness and love that David showed at the cave and Jesus showed throughout His entire life.  Leaving the judgement of worthiness totally to You and being accepting of all those whom You bring into our lives.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen