I have had a dramatic faith meets life experience the last 36 hours. Thanks to the UNC Basketball team I think I know how Simon the Zealot felt during Jesus’ ministry. Hang with me because I know it’s a very loose analogy. For those who do not follow the world of college basketball and didn’t realize that the UNC Tarheels played the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday here’s what happened. UNC led 98% of the game- most unfortunately though, not when the clock ran out and lost 74-73 in the last seconds..
Carolina should have won that game. We have a deeper bench of very talented players. Multiple offensive threats and Duke could not stop our player Bryce Johnson. But apparently our own teammates could- by not passing him the ball. I’m sorry- I digress. Watching that loss was stunning and gut wrenching. I was literally speechless. Something I so believed in and had such high hopes in had failed me right before my eyes. Something I so wanted to see happen and that I thought was going to happen, did not.
Simon the Zealot was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. A zealot was someone who politically hated the Roman authorities and actively worked to support efforts to undermine or overthrow the Roman influence on Jewish culture. Simon believed Jesus was the Messiah and would bring freedom to the people and be a different kind of leader. He was hoping and expecting one thing of Jesus and did so with great passion and anticipation.
And yet, it did not happen. The one whom he followed and had so much faith in did not do what he was expecting. Jesus ended up being a different kind of Messiah than most expected him to be. But can you imagine the level of frustration Simon must have felt as he waited expectantly for Jesus to make a power move? Not die pathetically on a cross.
And that was what it felt like the last 10 minutes of the basketball game. Expecting one outcome (UNC winning) and it never happened. Inexplicably. And so today, I feel like Simon the Zealot. Disappointed again but hoping for a different future outcome (in about 2 weeks…)
Grace and Peace,