And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Lk. 6:13-16)
This is a very encouraging passage. Why? Let us review those Jesus chose to be His apostles.
Peter: He was impetuous, promised more than he delivered, denied Jesus three times.
Andrew: He was helpful on a few occasions, but he didn’t make the cut to join those closest to Jesus.
James and John: They were hotheads.
Matthew: A former tax collector, who hosted one dinner party.
Thomas: He doubted the resurrection of Jesus.
Judas: He betrayed Jesus.
The others? Nothing.
Jesus called these 12 to change the world. Despite their failings and weaknesses, despite many of them being almost non-entities, despite how they continually let down Jesus, they did just that: change the world.
What’s encouraging in this lesson is that the 12 were so ordinary, human, and regular—so just like us. There was nothing incredible, special, or extraordinary about them—again, so just like us.
Jesus didn’t and doesn’t choose superstars to do His work. He chooses people like them and people like us. Jesus didn’t call them to perform, nor does He call us to perform. He calls people to follow Him and to trust that it’s not our work for Him that most matters, but His work in and with and through us.
If we ever feel like we aren’t good enough, strong enough, smart enough, or faithful enough to make much difference for Jesus, I encourage us to get over all such insecurities. Living into the mission Jesus has for us isn’t about how good we are, but about how good He is. That’s very encouraging news.
- Have you ever felt like you aren’t good, smart, capable, strong, or faithful enough to make much difference for Jesus? If so, does today’s scripture and reflection help you to let go of your worries?
- Why do you think that Jesus chose such ordinary people to make such an incredible difference? Why do you think Jesus would choose ordinary you to do the same?
- Jesus chose the original 12 to help Him change the world. What difference is Jesus hoping to accomplish through you?