Luke 6: 12-19
“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.”
Jesus chose the Twelve from among his disciples. He needed an inner circle, a group who knew him intimately, who could tell his story and spread his message. Jesus knew that his time on earth was nearing its end. He chose these twelve so that he could write the gospel message on their hearts.
The Greek word for disciple means pupil or learner. These twelve were to be learners chosen to become teachers and leaders. The Greek word for Apostle means a person who is sent out. They were to be sent out as envoys and ambassadors to the faith.
John Wesley once wrote “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”
Christ chose ordinary people for an extraordinary purpose. They were fisherman and tax collectors, people of ordinary education and social status. People like you and like me.
With twelve ordinary people empowered by the Holy Spirit, Christ changed the world.
Today, all Christians are called to be examples of Christ’s life and teachings in this world; to offer love where there is hate, peace where there is chaos, and forgiveness where there is retribution and anger.
And that is truly an extraordinary purpose.
May the love of Christ be with you,
Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)