On Wednesday lunch times I attend a meeting called ‘Encounter’; a Bible study. Ben Davies, an inspirational man who led Kerith Community Church for 43 years before Simon Benham was made Pastor, teaches. Yesterday we looked at 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.
I’ve read this passage plenty of times in passing, but I’ve never really focussed on it like we did yesterday. Ben made two fantastic points:
- Jesus spent much time in prayer before making his decision – ensuring that it was His Father’s will and not his own.
- After much prayer, Jesus chose leaders, they were not elected.
I thought this was a fantastic leadership insight from Ben, but there was something else that he picked up on which I found even more powerful. Without looking at that list of apostles, do you think you could have named them all? I know I couldn’t. A few of these men helped the church to explode after Jesus’ resurrection. But what of the others?
It’s amazing to think that despite Jesus choosing them as apostles, there are a few relatively unknown names (to me, at least) amongst this group. Not all of their works were equal. He didn’t choose them for their academic standing – some were merely simple fisherman. So why did he choose them?
I don’t know.
The bottom line is that until we meet Jesus himself, we’ll never know why he picked the people he did with absolute certainty – but there are some things we can learn from this though:
- Jesus is not interested in works or achievements.
- It doesn’t matter where you are in life, you can still choose to follow Him.
- Even those from the most humble of beginnings can do radical things in the name of Jesus.
This gives me hope. I’m very grateful for these facts, because I would be lost otherwise!