Included in Lee Lozowick’s very wise and entertaining book of tales, Zen Trash, are some gospel stories. The comments below follow a re-telling of Peter’s call to follow Jesus. He conflates the Sermon on the Mount and the feeding of the 5000, but that doesn’t spoil the point.
Peter couldn’t have followed Jesus in a million years if Jesus didn’t call him to it. People tried following Jesus in those days, and they couldn’t do it, except for a few. You know, they say that at the Sermon on the Mount there were thousands of people. How many people followed Jesus? Thirty… forty… fifty… a hundred? We think to ourselves, “Imagine what it must have been like – the Sermon on the Mount, wow!” But there were five thousand people there and most of them didn’t give a shit. All they wanted was fish and bread and they were happy, perfectly happy.
“Wow,” they said to themselves, “that was a great seminar,” and off they went home to fight with their families and their kids. “And the fish wasn’t bad either. And for a minute there, I didn’t think I was going to get any, but…”
Only the master makes the choice about who gets to serve. (Lee Lozowick, Zen Trash, pp.23-24)