Margaret Mead is quoted to have said “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” The original disciples of Christ are a perfect example of this principle. Though just twelve in number, they changed the world forever as they steadfastly preached the message of Jesus. Even with such a few number of men, they were able to impact the entire world, and in fact continue to impact the world over two thousand years since their death. Except for the obvious advantage of having known Jesus in His physical form, they were ordinary folks, just like you and me.
The impact the disciples had on the lives of literally billions remains mindboggling to me, while at the same time encouraging me that we do not need large numbers to make a difference. In fact, I would argue that twelve was actually an extraordinary number of people to accomplish something in the name of Jesus. Look at the number of Biblical examples where only one man had a tremendous impact on history. Through the power of God, Samuel helped shape the theology of a nation; Moses led an entire nation out of captivity from a much more powerful captor. The writings of David continue to comfort masses to this very day. Solomon’s wisdom directed the morals and laws of countless nations.
It’s easy to feel like we cannot make a difference by our self. We make the mistake of thinking of ourselves as being all alone. As followers of Jesus, we have the power of God within us. The same power that fueled Gideon’s army, Samson’s strength and Daniel’s prophetic visions dwells in us. Too often we read the Biblical stories of great men and see them as some sort of super humans. The same blood that coursed through their veins centuries ago continues to flow through ours today. We are all flesh and blood, and we are all gifted by God with abilities to do marvelous and incredible works in His name. Though we are few and weak, through us, God simply does the impossible.
The real difference between the Biblical heroes and us is that they chose to trust and to act. How much more could we do if we would simply put our entire trust in Jesus? How much more would we achieve if we would only act on what He gives us to do? How much more fulfilled would we be if we knew without a doubt that we were doing all we were created to do. We need to renew our trust in Him and boldly act with courage. We must do all that He has given us to do.
One man, John the Baptist, with a small band of followers prepared the way for Jesus. Twelve men, followers of Jesus, literally changed the world. One man, Jesus, lived a short but humble life, and secured eternity for everyone who would believe. One man, Paul, along with a companion or two spread the gospel throughout much of the known world. In our modern day world, one man named Bob Pierce took the time to care for one child and in turn founded World Vision, which has since touched the lives of millions. One person, one small group, can indeed impact the world in astounding ways. One person; why not you? Why not me?