Today’s verses relay a critical moment in Jesus’ life and ministry: His calling of the twelve disciples. This is the beginning of a story of transformation.
Jesus had many followers (also called disciples) at that time, but He chose only twelve to be His closest disciples, His apostles. TWELVE. That’s not very many, so you’d expect He’d pick the best of the best to make the perfect dozen.
What would our requirements include if we were picking a perfect dozen today? We might consider if they were smart, loyal, influential, connected, well spoken, or experts in certain skills.
I can’t pretend to know how or why Jesus chose each of these men. We know He chose them after retreating to a mountain and spending a night in prayer (Luke 6:12). They were carefully considered and chosen because Jesus knew – although the apostles did not – that they would be the men who would continue His earthly ministry after the cross.
These were ordinary men. There were fishermen and tax collectors amongst them, but no religious scholars. They were, at times, emotional, impulsive, self-concerned, and full of doubt. One of the most beloved apostles, Peter, denied Jesus three times. These men were far from perfect, but over time in Jesus’ presence, they grew. They transformed, and in doing so, they were able to establish the early church and spread Christianity. (The caveat to this was Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus. While confusing to us, choosing Judas wasn’t an accident or a mistake either.)
These were ordinary men, but God transformed them over time to do extraordinary work for the kingdom.
Our stories can be the same. We feel our limitations, but God sees our potential. We are ordinary but God can use us to do important work for Him. He qualifies and enables us when we respond willingly and obediently to His call.
“For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
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