Do you remember the Bible verses about Peter denying Christ three times, or the disciples arguing about seating arrangements up in Heaven, or the time they fell asleep while they should have been praying? How do most good folks react, when they hear about someone who disappointed Jesus? Some of them get high-and-mighty, pretty quickly. "Oh, I wouldn't have let Christ down! No sir! Not me! I'd have marched up to those Roman soldiers, and said, ‘You want my savior? Well, you'll have to take me first!' That's what I would have said, praise God!"
This revisionist nonsense happens all the time. Some folks, with the clear hindsight of Biblical history, think they would have been perfect had they been able to hang around with Jesus. Well, I know better. I know I would have been a terrible disciple.
If the disciples were supposed to be up praying all night but were found to be sleeping on the job, they would have been using me as a pillow. If anyone was going to try to weasel out the best seat in Heaven, it would have been me.
And poor old Peter. Everyone loves to feel superior to him, just because of that denial business; but I'm pretty sure I would have made him look angelic by comparison. "Hey, David! You hit a new record. You denied the Messiah 46 times today! Wait. Make that 47. I almost forgot about you pretending you didn't know Jesus when the dinner bill came around."
And at the Resurrection? Well, I would have been shoving my way to the front of the line, moving "Doubting Thomas" aside before he could ever get his nickname. "Let me see those hands and those holes for myself!"
The disciples did the best they could, and I'm pretty sure they could whip most of us in any spiritual test you'd like to put forth.
Jesus knew what he was doing when he picked his followers. He knew they would be tested, and he wanted people he could count on.
He wasn't looking for perfection, but I'm glad I wasn't around back then. Had I been picked, I might even have made Judas look good, just by comparison.
David McCoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org