To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2014 Issue – ‘The Great Legacy’
Today’s text for reading and meditation is:
Luke 6:12-16 (NIV): “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
One of the most enjoyable aspects of reading Scripture are the times when we read something that we have read before (perhaps many times), and an element comes into sharper focus. In general, I had merged the selection of the apostles and the disciples into a single process. The verses above highlight for me, that Jesus had called a number of people to be His disciples; but it was a separate, and special occasion when He selected His twelve leaders (apostles).
Selwyn discusses this issue, as follows: “Today we focus on yet another of Jesus’ legacies – the men whom He chose to found His Church. … At a national level, the choice of twelve apostles was significant and symbolic. He was reassigning His leadership of the twelve tribes of Israel to men of His choosing.
This was a socially provocative gesture, demonstrating that He had the goal and authority to rebuild the life of the people of God under His lordship. (At some point). the apostles must have been spiritually nourished to know they had been handpicked by Jesus after prayerful consultation with His heavenly Father.
Our sense of privilege need be no less than theirs. ‘In Christ’ we too have been chosen. [Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 1:3-5a, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption … “]
Our mission, like the apostles, flows out of His love.”
It’s truly remarkable, somewhat overwhelming, to know that we have been ‘hand-picked’ by Jesus. As Selwyn says in today’s prayer: ‘You sought me, bought me, and now I am Yours forever. How wonderful.’
Yet, knowing that God has ‘picked’ us, do we completely live our lives to produce fruit for His kingdom (or, are we committed for just a short time on a Sunday)? Aware, that we have a short, and very limited time, to freely employ our will, in proclaiming to this world, the amazing love of our Lord?
After death, it will be too late – when faced with the glory of God in all His reality – to say, “I’ll shout it on the mountain tops just how magnificent You are”; everyone with you, will know. Now, is the time, to tell others about the love of Christ.