Last Wednesday morning at our church prayer meeting everyone in the room was celebrating a birthday. What were the odds of that? Granted, there were only three of us in attendance, but still it typically would not have been a likely scenario at most gatherings. In Scripture time and time again we read of major unlikelihoods.
What were the odds that a fellow, adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and who eventually became a murderer, would be used by God to save the Israelites from the enslaving hands of the Egyptians? (Moses)
What were the odds that, when Samuel was looking at Jesse’s sons to anoint the future king, he would pass by seven older brothers to choose the youngest and perhaps the weakest boy to rule eventually? (David)
What were the odds that a carpenter, born to lowly parents under questionable circumstances from a human perspective, who emulated humility, forgiveness and love would end up being the Savior who had been eagerly anticipated? (Jesus)
What were the odds that a much-hated tax collector who had cheated many people out of their money would meet Jesus and then turn and gladly give half of his possessions to the poor and pay back all whom he had cheated four times what he owed them? (Zacchaeus)
What were the odds that soon after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus there would be a Pharisee of Pharisees who would turn from persecuting Christians to teach and write boldly about the message of Christ? (Saul/Paul)
What were the odds that twelve average not highly educated young men from one small area would become evangelists and change the entire world by spreading the good news of the gospel? (the apostles)
What might seem improbable or impossible to us is possible with God. As Paul wrote “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)