Lord, You are the God of grace to whom I offer myself today.
Read Luke 6:12–16
The Twelve Apostles
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
New International Version (NIV)
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Reflect“He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph. 1:4, NRSV).
Once again (as on January 15), we have a list of names; but this time, familiar names, pronounceable names! Once again, we glean insights from a name-list. These 12 will be Jesus’ inner circle—chosen, commissioned and personally coached by Jesus.
The choice of 12 wasn’t pragmatic (how many would fit around the table for the Last Supper!) but a statement about what God was doing through the new covenant. The 12 apostles, recalling the 12 tribes of Israel, represented the new people of God.
This motley mix boasts a diversity of backgrounds and businesses, personalities, and philosophies (14–16). Yet, Matthew the tax collector, despised as a traitor, and Simon the Zealot, probably considered a true patriot, must learn to serve side-by-side. I wonder, might Jesus have deliberately paired up such unlikely twosomes when sending out the twelve on mission (Luke 9:1)?
Before appointing the twelve, Jesus made a “divine appointment” with the Father (12). Yet, even a careful, prayerful choice by Jesus himself was no guarantee that all would run smoothly. God upholds human freewill. We read the sad commentary that Judas “became a traitor” (16b).
Read Mark 3:14,15. Before being sent out, the 12 were called to simply “be with” Jesus. In what ways are you carving out time to be with Jesus?
Lord, thank You that You choose ordinary people to be Your disciples.
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