23 February 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 10:1-4 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
1 Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. 2 Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (also called Peter), then Andrew (Peter’s brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James’s brother), 3 Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, 4 Simon (the zealot), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him). (Matthew 10:1–4 NLT)
This group Jesus called to a fresh level of responsibility and authority was quite a diverse group! Matthew tells us that at least four of them, Peter, Andrew, James and John, were Lake Galilee professional fishermen. Matthew was a contract tax collector for Rome prior to following Jesus. One, Philip, has a Greek name, and one, Simon the Zealot, was a political activist advocating the overthrow of Roman rule. And one would betray Jesus to the Jewish leaders for money! There were no priests or rabbis among them, just a seemingly random collection of fits and misfits!
How did Jesus choose these twelve men that day? Well, to begin with they were available. They were following him. They were disciples. They had left everything; jobs, business, homes, families, and they were present. So Jesus said, “I want you guys, the twelve of you, to come over here. I have something to talk to you about.” And by the authority his Father had given him after his baptism and his wilderness testing, he gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.
Were they ready? Ready enough! What if they misused their authority? Well, their authority was to do specific things, all of which were good and for the benefit of others—all of which were things they saw Jesus doing daily. If they didn’t do good for others they would be misusing their authority. If they didn’t do good for others they would not be following Jesus!
I believe there is an upward, onward, inward, and outward call of Jesus for every one of his followers. It may not be as dramatic as this instance, but I believe it’s there for each of us who is following, present, and available! How about you?
Father, Here we are centuries after Jesus called and commissioned The Twelve. May my friends and I be present and available for the upward, onward, inward, and outward call of Jesus. May we, like these guys, say “Yes, Lord! Here I am!” Amen.