The first of the twelve apostles was Simon, better known as Peter. His brother Andrew was an apostle, and so were James and John, the two sons of Zebedee. Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew the tax collector, James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus were also apostles. The others were Simon, known as the Eager One, and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.Â Â Â Â Matthew 10:2-4 (CEV)
Popular. Well-known. Who? As I look at the list of the twelve men that Jesus, God in the flesh, was counting on to spread the Good News, I notice that not all of them are known for anything more than â€˜being one of the twelveâ€™. Bartholomew, James of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, and the other Simon are little known when compared to Peter and John and even Judas Iscariot. And then thereâ€™s the one who replaced Judas. Old Whatâ€™s-his-nameâ€¦Matthias! They were â€œflying under the radarâ€.
God spoke to me about this as I was driving back from Tampa, FL a few years ago after seeing my son make his Major League debut. You see, the Tampa Rayâ€™s # 1 prospect that year was also making his debut the same night. B.J. is a fine young man with a wonderful family that I met. But God wasnâ€™t speaking to me about B.J. God was pointing His finger at my son, John, and me. We fly â€œunder the radarâ€. Itâ€™s not a bad place to be. No one notices you. Itâ€™s like being a â€˜covert operatorâ€™. You get your orders from the Commander. You go in and do your job. You go home. No one knows you and the Commander gets all the attention. (He repeated that to me.) The Commander gets all the attention.
Then Jesus replied, ” I assure you: The Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way.Â Â Â Â John 5:19 (HCSB)
Some of you say that you follow me, and others claim to follow Apollos. Isn’t that how ordinary people behave? Apollos and I are merely servants who helped you to have faith. It was the Lord who made it all happen. I planted the seeds, Apollos watered them, but God made them sprout and grow. What matters isn’t those who planted or watered, but God who made the plants grow.Â Â Â 1 Corinthians 3:4-7 (CEV, my emphasis)
This is what my life is all about â€“ being a conduit for the attention to God. My personal question of each day is: How can I â€œfly under the radarâ€ today for You, Lord? In everything that I do today â€“ How can I direct peopleâ€™s attention to God so He gets all the praise?
After the debut game that night, I walked out of the stadium with John. Kids were along the fence with their balls and caps and pens, waving and asking for autographs. Most of the players waved and kept walking. John stopped and looked at us, his family. Grinned a little. â€œYou donâ€™t mind, do you?â€ He walked over to the fence and talked to the kids, signed some things: â€˜John F. Webb, Jr., Phil 3:14â€. God got all the praise!