So last night I was reading something online about scripts and acting, developing characters and whatnot and it must have stewed in my head overnight because this morning my mind was filled with ideas. (Thank You God!)
When I was in drama in high school, we used to be super disappointed if we auditioned and wound up getting a “bit part”. These were the parts where you might be called, “woman #5” in the crowd, or “man in black #2”. If you were really fortunate, this bit part would have 1 or 2 speaking lines in the entire production. So needless to say, everyone hoped for more than a “bit part”.
So then I got to thinking about the people in the Bible. We all know the main characters – God, Jesus, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, Mary, etc. We even know some of the supporting cast like the 12 disciples, the prophets, the Pharisees/Sadducees etc. But how often to we focus on what “we” would call the “bit parts” like the “thief on the cross #1 and 2” in the book of Luke? (Chapter 23)
To God, “thief on the cross 1 and 2” were pretty important parts.
Just their presence there, being crucified with Jesus, fulfilled another OT prophecy! That’s a huge thing, to be the fulfillment of prophecy. Isaiah 53:12
Then, add to that, the image that is given with a thief on His right and a thief on His left. I’m not a biblical scholar and I’m sure I’ll need to put in more research to this, but the immediate image in my mind is Christ on the throne separating the sheep and the goats for judgment. One is putting Christ down (goat) and the other says, “Please remember me when you get there!” (sheep). Even at the last hour, knowing death is right around the corner, thief 1 shows no faith or belief, but thief 2 does and Jesus is quick to forgive and grant salvation. Even in the last hour of life.
Then couple that with the age old debate of whether or not one needs to be baptized in order to be saved. Well, I don’t think the soldiers took “thief 2” down from the cross so he could be baptized yet at the same time, it doesn’t say anywhere whether or not the thief had been baptized at any point in time. So after reflecting on this issue, a person really can’t use it to argue for or against baptism. Jesus said he would be with Him in paradise. The thief was under OT laws not NT covenant. The thief probably, after death, would have gone to the part of “hades” reserved for the righteous (paradise) to await the resurrection. It shows clearly how the grace of God and faith saved the thief. After death, it tells of Jesus going down to “hades” so this would hold with the thief being with Him at death under OT law. Either way, this situation with thief 2 sparks 50 more questions and lots of interesting research!
So these parts at first glance that seem to be “bit parts”, aren’t really “bit parts”. There wasn’t much speaking but their presence really packs a punch when you get to looking at them.
Do you realize that God knows your name?
Every single testimony by every single believer could be looked at as a “bit part”. Even Paul. He could have just been a short mention of a guy who persecuted Christians then had a vision of Jesus and changed his tune, the end. But that isn’t how Paul played his part right? Paul wouldn’t be considered a “bit part” in the Bible. He wrote letter after letter, teaching, warning, giving accounts of what he experienced and what other believers experienced. Paul’s testimony is part of our Bible. We read his words and learn from him … still. That is how Paul served God best, how he played his “bit part”.
Has it hit you yet that God, our awesome and mighty and powerful God, knows your name?
All believers have parts to play. Some may, at first glance, seem like “bit parts”. But all, upon further digging, prove to be so much more than what they appear to be. Mary’s part could be considered a “bit part”. After all, she was just the girl who gave birth to our Savior, but I think everyone views her as a main character because of the powerful image her presence created.
No matter who you are or where you come from, no matter what hand you are dealt in life, no matter how invisible or insignificant you may feel…there are no “bit parts” in God’s eyes.
If each believer who ever lived, had only one experience, to add to a book to honor God, it would be billions of pages long.
I tried to look up how many believers there were since Jesus walked the earth and not surprising I couldn’t find anything. But I did find an article that mentioned 70 million Christians martyred for their faith since Jesus walked the earth. So if even just one page per person martyred was written, that would be an impossibly huge book.
So just remember:
God knows your name! Your testimony, your experiences, your very life is worth more than a brief skimming read. Your presence is powerful and your life is interesting and others will learn from you because God Almighty gave YOU a part to play.