…excerpt from the recently discovered Gospel According to Bob (not a real gospel…)
Chapter 6, vss. 1-41
One day, the disciples noted Jesus deep in prayer. On occasion, Jesus would open his eyes, draw figures in the sand, then return to prayer. His reflections lasted many minutes. Finally, Simon (also called Peter) interrupted him, saying, “Master, you seem vexed and deeply concerned. Is there something we might help you with?” Jesus looked at Simon, sighed, and said, “I am indeed vexed. Our band has remained fixed at twelve for some time. I am thinking how we might expand.”
“You mean, add a disciple?” asked Peter (also called Simon)
“Well, no, at least two disciples. Thirteen would be unlucky. But we need to grow. Twelve just doesn’t seem like enough. The Midianites now have sixteen and the Peruzites have almost two dozen. I cannot seem to figure out what to do to get more disciples.” explained Jesus.
“Well, you could lower the expectations a mite,” muttered Judas. “Leave family and home, give everything away, take up your cross and follow me — a bit stiff, and not a big draw…”
“But we do well enough,” said Peter (a fan of Paul Simon) “Why do we need more?”
“More is better,” Jesus patiently explained. “Think how impressive a hoard of disciples would be.”
“But what about the sick and the poor? Preaching and teaching?” exclaimed Simon (a fan of Peter, Paul & Mary)
“Oh, they’ll still be here once we grow. And just think how much better we will serve them when there are more of us!”
“So, a small group is what, chopped liver? We can’t do your ministry because there are too few of us? We don’t have any resources?” asked Peter (Simonized)
“Well, I don’t mean that. You do fine. I just think it’s time to grow a bit. Focus on the numbers. The bigger we get, the better we get!”
“And so how do you propose attracting new disciples?’ asked John.
“Advertising!” shouted Jesus. “Look at all the empty sky around here. It just cries out for billboards. And look at this — I made it last night.”
John held a piece of parchment with a hook on the end. “Uhm, it’s nice, but what is it?”
“It’s a door-hanger,” proclaimed Jesus. “You put them on doorknobs, then run away.”
“What’s a doorknob?” asked Simon (with comprehension Petering out)
“Look. Never mind. Someday these will be big. What matters most is getting more people. I am certain the very next disciple we get will be the best one ever!” said Jesus.
“I doubt that,” chimed in Thomas. “And, by the way, we are already thirteen if you count You. I thought that was unlucky.”
“It probably will be for one of us. Anyway, come on it’s almost Passover and we need to get to Jerusalem,” remarked Jesus.