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The Power of an Underdog

Whether we’re watching a sports, a TV show or a movie, it’s exhilarating to see “the little guy” overcome odds and win. When Rocky defeated adversity and fought the world’s greatest boxer -- we cheered. Everybody loves an underdog because underdogs remind us of ourselves. 

What we don't always recognize is that every hero starts as an underdog. The heroes in the Bible are no exception. God used ordinary people to show His extraordinary goodness. When Jesus was on earth, He surrounded Himself with underdogs. Feel like the odds are against you? You’re in good company. Here are just a few of the underdogs Jesus used to make a big difference:

1. The man carrying a jar of water

In Mark 14, Jesus tells his disciples to go into town,  find the “man carrying a jar of water” and follow him to his house where they would celebrate the passover meal. The Bible never mentions this man again. We don’t know who he was, why he was chosen or how he knew to meet the disciples. The man with the water jar was the epitome of an underdog--unknown and seemingly unimportant. But because he obeyed Jesus without question and offered his home, history was made. Little did the man know, his home would be the location of Jesus’s last meal on earth.

2. The boy with five loaves and two fish

In John 6, Jesus uses the faith of a little boy to feed more than 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. The boy in this story had very little food - only 5 loaves of bread and two fish. This was probably just enough for him to eat lunch. But he had faith that Jesus used the ordinary to produce the extraordinary. Because this underdog of a boy gave Jesus all of the little that he had, an extraordinary miracle took place.

3. The shepherd boy made king

In 1 Samuel 16, God sends Samuel to anoint a new king. He arrives at Jesse’s house, but as he meets with Jesse’s sons one by one, none of them are the king that God sent Samuel to anoint. When Samuel asked Jesse if there were any other sons, Jesse said there was still the youngest, keeping sheep in the field. Basically, Jesse was saying, “Yeah I have one more son, but he’s the youngest and he’s a shepherd. Surely he’s not going to be king so I didn’t even bother asking him to come up here to meet you in the first place.” More more simply put, “David is an underdog. He can’t be king.” But God was for David, regardless of the odds that were against him. God chose the youngest, smallest and most unlikely member of Jesse’s family use him to show His greatness. From killing giants with pebbles and leading a nation as king, God turned underdog David into one the greatests heroes of the Bible.

If the odds are against you, take hope. God is in the business of using underdogs. And God wants to use an underdog just like you.

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