Jesus now baptised, has begun his earthly ministry. His next task was to assemble a team of disciples to assist him in the mission. We don’t see Jesus signing up on Linkedin or starting a recruiting drive. He did not go to the temple and try to recruit the best and the brightest religious minds. We see Jesus travelling the countryside looking for those who could relate to the people that needed to meet Jesus the most.
These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter),
Jesus found men right where they were in their work environments. He requested that they just stop what they are doing and to follow him. This was a radical request, there must have been some authority in Jesus’ voice, or compassion, whatever it was it drew these twelve men to devote their lives to a cause they really knew nothing about. They left their livelihood behind trusting a man whom they did not know. Jesus never promised them fame, fortune or anything like that, if you recall he told Simon if he followed him that he would make him a fisher of men. No money in that, yet Simon saw something in Jesus character and his offer that was too good to pass up.
There are some who put the disciples on a pedestal and think that they had it all together. Maybe they try to compare themselves and never measure up. But the disciples were just like us, they had their failures, doubts, fears. They were not perfect by any standard. They would fight amongst themselves about which of them was the best. When trouble fell on Jesus they scattered. Some even doubted Jesus had risen from the dead. Even one betrayed him. So why did Jesus surround himself with twelve flawed people? I believe he did so to show future generations that he uses everyone to fulfil the mission. We see more flawed people being used in amazing ways from all sorts of backgrounds. Saul a religious zealot bound to destroy every believer for their faith met Jesus and he became one of the powerhouses of the faith. Timothy was a kid, but he impacted the church. Many more are layered throughout the NT. The disciples went on to change the known world with the message of salvation, each suffering for it yet never giving in to their fears of death.
So what does the fact Jesus found twelve disciples mean to us today? I feel it is a good example of how we need to surround ourselves with those who are on the same mission. Working together we can make an impact in our world, country, region, community and families. We were never meant to be solo believers. It may be hard to find a group of twelve people that you would call your core group of faith, but a church provides an opportunity to find a small group of believers who will stand by you in the mission. If you have given your heart to Jesus, I wonder if you have plugged into a network of believers and are working to grow in your faith. This will guide you in the mission of reaching the lost.
Father, thank you for the example of friendship we see with the disciples and Jesus. His choice was ordinary people with no extraordinary giftings, just those willing to follow and believed in the mission. We often decided who we will share the faith with on our outward views, I pray that we will look past the outward and see that there are people all around who need to meet with Jesus. They may look tough, homely, tattooed, angry, dirty, smelly, professional, or they have it all together, remind us that they still need you. Give us wisdom in each situation to be effective in sharing your love with them. Use me to change my world. Amen