THE TWELVE

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. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges , which means “sons of thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Mark 3:13‭-‬19 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/mrk.3.13-19.NIV.

The mountainside in scripture symbolizes a posture of prayer. Here, Christ chose His disciples by calling them to Him on the mountain. So as Christ chose His disciples, He gave them a responsibility: to preach and authority to drive out demons. The authority and capacity in these disciples originated from Christ. He chose them then equipped them. Quite the opposite in our days. God’s work is not about us seeing our strengths and skills. Its about Him calling us to serve Him. God doesn’t rely on our strengths and abilities. We see the profiles of some of the disciples who were unlearned fishermen. Yet Christ chose them and equipped them for ministry. Perhaps it was meant to convey a message then as it should now. Our gifts, education and qualifications are good but secondary to us yielding ourselves to Him to equip us for works of service as stated in Ephesians. Christ’s apostles were people from diverse fields. So radical that it looked like a potentially dysfunctional group. Imagine a political agitator like Simon the Zealot sitting in the same room with Levi who was a tax collector and an agent of Rome? Imagine James and John, sons of Zebedee (nicknamed sons of thunder) humbling themselves to listen to the others? These were not a group of qualified professionals but just the common people we come across on the streets everyday. Yet Christ took them, moulded them so that they were able to bear the gospel for our sake. When we encounter Christ, the Son of God, we never remain the same. Possibly, Peter’s life script was meant to be that of a common Galilee fisherman living a quiet life as he raises his family. Possibly Matthew (Levi) was meant to be a Rome loyalist extorting taxes from people for some sort of commission. But when they encountered Christ, things changed. Their life scripts transformed and today we celebrate them. Our life scripts might hold us hostage. Possibly we see where we’ve come from and use it to determine our destination. Possibly we see the habits we’ve struggled with for ages and see it as an opportunity to give up on God. But when we encounter Christ, our lives must transform. Our life scripts must change. Just like the disciples, we are instruments available to be used by Him for His glory.

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