“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.”
In the corporate world, a good CEO surrounds himself with knowledgeable people who follow his lead and learn from him; they carry out plans agreed upon by all. Still the CEO has the final word. The same is true in politics. Our president was duly elected by the people of the United States to carry out the plans of those same people and see to their protection and well being. He also adds people to his staff who will help him achievethe final outcome of his administration. If they aren’t doing their jobs, they’re replaced.
When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he was overwhelmed by the massive problems and issues to be resolved. He needed help to fulfill his obligations to God, so he recruited men to help him. This is true in our churches as pastors and priests cannot do everything themselves.
In Jesus case, He didn’t need help because He was God in the flesh. Yet He was also fully man. He required help managing the growing crowds. He grew weary, as we all do, after a hard day of travel and work. He needed time off occasionally, to recharge and go to His Father in prayer. His constant communication with His Dad is spoken of frequently in the Bible.
So when it came to choosing a group of Apostles from the disciples who followed Him, His decision was based on a variety of men, with different gifts and talents. This band included ordinary men, endowed with extraordinary abilities from God. They were willing to give up their past life to follow Jesus. An apostle was not only an assistant, but one who would carry the Gospel message to others, heal and cast out demons. They were responsible for caring for the widows and poverty stricken.
One of the twelve, betrayed Jesus and set the crucifixion in motion. The man, Judas, Iscariot entered into a deal with the devil. Money drove his decision and when the deed was done, he committed suicide in despair over his actions. He was replaced by Matthias, another disciple who followed Jesus from the time of John, the Baptist. He was the only disciple not chosen personally by Jesus.
Many of these men were blood relatives. At least six of them were brothers. So this truly was a band of brothers connected by the cornerstone, Jesus, Christ. Each one of them would play a part in His ministry, His suffering and death and His resurrection. Many also died as martyrs for their faith.
As we think about the ministry and Passion of Christ, let’s not forget the supporting cast of players. Some were common, ordinary folks. Others were rich and were able to support the mission of Christ. The point is, when we walk with Christ, we are changed. We will never be the same again.