A moment for reflection:
by Morag Cameron
Mark 3.13-15 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to Him those He wanted, and they came to Him. He appointed twelve that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.
Everyone has a worthwhile life story to tell of a journey laced with hardships and joys, heartaches and celebrations. All these things work together to ultimately lead us to our destination, our purpose in life. We will encounter many challenges which will test our faith, courage, strengths and weaknesses because we are human and so along the way, we will most likely stumble upon obstacles that will come between the paths we are destined to take. However if we ask for God’s guidance we know He will surely direct our paths.
The verses above depict a hinge pin moment in Jesus’ life and ministry: His calling of the twelve disciples is the beginning of a story of transformation.
At this time Jesus had many followers but He chose only twelve men to be His closest disciples which seems quite a small number.
If we were tasked with picking people to fulfil such an important role what qualities would we be contemplating as required for the men? Would we be considering honesty, integrity, humility, loyalty, empathy connected, commitment and passion to name a few.
How or why Jesus chose each of these men we do not know but we know He chose them after retreating to a mountain and spending a night in prayer as it states in Luke 6:12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying.
The men were carefully considered and chosen because Jesus knew even at this time they would be entrusted with continuing His earthly ministry after He was crucified .
These men were ordinary men, fishermen and tax collectors but no religious scholars amongst them. At times the twelve could be emotional, impulsive, self-concerned and even full of doubt. Peter, one of the most beloved of these twelve, denied Jesus three times. All far from perfect, but over time with Jesus’ help and presence, they florished. They transformed, and in doing so, they were able to establish the early church and spread Christianity. (The caveat to this was Judas, as he ultimately betrayed Jesus – but the choosing of Judas wasn’t an accident or a mistake either.)
These were ordinary men, but God transformed them over time to do extraordinary work for the kingdom. Our own stories are the same. We may only see our countless limitations, but God looks at us and can see our potential. We serve a God who knows no limits. We know our weaknesses but He turns our limitations into limitless opportunities through His strength. We are ordinary but God can use us to do important work for Him. He enables and equips us if we respond willingly and obediently to His call.
Philippians 1:6 "For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus"
Prayer Loving God, we are so grateful by Your choice of ordinary men for the first twelve chosen. You have shown us we too can be used by You. We thank You as You can overlook our weaknesses and failings, using us to help spread the Good News where we are. Give us the belief to listen and obey You, the courage and the willingness to step out boldly in Your name whenever You require us to do so. Grant us rest and confidence in Your abilities and leadership Grant us peace in the knowledge though circumstances vary. Your faithfulness is constant.