At that time Jesus went up a hill to pray and spent the whole night there praying to God. When day came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he names apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter) and his brother Andrew; James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon (who was called the Patriot), Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became the traitor. – Luke 6: 12-16(GNB)
I wonder if the apostles fully understood what they are getting themselves into.
I wonder if those apostles knew that they were to preach, not only to their fellow Jews but even to the Gentiles whom they considered as enemies.
I wonder if they felt incompetent since they were not learned in the law as the Pharisees and the scribes were. They were fishermen, tax collectors, zealots – non-professionals, ordinary people with no wealth and no position to boast of.
I wonder if their knees shook and they stuttered whenever they stood to preach before a crowd of hundreds to thousands.
I wonder if they felt ‘butterflies in their stomach’.
I wonder if they knew that they will be moving from place to place to as far as the neighboring countries to preach the gospel.
I wonder if they felt uncomfortable having to stay in the house of other people and having to walk for days to reach the next town.
I wonder if they felt anxious of what to eat and wear and of getting sick as they travel across towns and cities.
I wonder if they knew that as many as the people who will readily accept the gospel, are the number of people who will reject and persecute them to prisons and even to a horrible death.
I wonder if they really knew the trouble they have gotten themselves into.
Maybe. Maybe they did know. Maybe they did not.
Whatever the case may be we cannot shun out the fact that Jesus personally called and chose those 12 apostles from among his disciples.
They were ordinary people with no significant social standing in the society. No connections. Not wealthy people. In short, Jesus’ choosing them for ministry does not add any advantage.
2,000 years had passed. What happened to the ministry they had?
They made a very very significant impact in the lives of the people that heard their preaching about Christ.
In fact, in our times now, we are greatly affected by the power brought about by their preaching of salvation.
What we are now, what we have become in the Lord is an effect of their message of salvation.
If not for their courage to preach Jesus Christ even at the thought of incompetency,
If not for their boldness to speak the message of the Cross amidst opposition,
If not for their obedience to the call of the Lord to advance his kingdom,
We would have not been the people we are now. We would have not known forgiveness. We would not have fullness of life. We would have not experienced God’s unconditional and unfathomable love.
Aren’t they amazing?!
Indeed, ordinary men, guided by God’s grace achieves great feat for the Lord.
This is the call for each of us.
We, who call ourselves Christians.
We, who said yes to the Lord.
We, who profess the power of his resurrection, are called
To be courageous in taking on service even if we feel incompetent and lacking,
To be bold in proclaiming his word of salvation to people around us, and
To be obedient to the Lord in to whatever, whenever and wherever.
The prize?! Nothing but the Lord himself – Priceless, Eternal!
The consolation?! People turning to the Lord and serving him the way we do. – Refreshing, Rewarding!
If we allow the Lord to use us, if we allow the Lord to work through us, great power unleashes, his mercy and grace pours down to the heart of the people.
We will see changed heart. We will see changed disposition. We will see changed lives – both, us and they, are changed by the message of the Christ.