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Maybe He chooses his disciples because of who they are not.

Simon is not solid. At first, the eldest disciple Jesus would name Peter–the rock on which the church would be built–is a pebble caught in Jesus’ sandal. He wavers and sinks when he tries to walk on water. He declares Jesus as the Son of the living God one minute and in the next is emphatic God would not allow Jesus to be put to death. He spouts allegiance to Christ and then crows denial with the cockerel the next. Peter draws his sword in the garden and again Jesus rebukes him for hindering God’s will. Because he verbally asserts and assumes God’s will, perhaps he has the most the learn.

James and John, the Sons of Thunder, lack humility. Like most brothers, they argue about which one shall be first. They each claim a side next to Jesus in Heaven’s throne room. They do not understand that to be on the side of Christ is to be pierced. But, they will. James will die by the sword. While exiled on Patmos, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” will have Heaven’s throne room revealed to him, but will be the last of the twelve to die.

Why does Jesus bring these three most-likely-to-fall-asleep-on-the-job along with Him to the healing of Jairus’ daughter, the Transfiguration, and Gethsemane?

The other disciples appear jealous. Perhaps Andrew feels left out. He hangs out most with fellow recruiter, Philip. Bartholomew (a.k.a. Nathanael) is a bit suspicious. Former tax-collector Matthew probably does not trust himself any more than the rest of them do. Thomas doubts any of this will work out well. James the Son of Alphaeus jumps every time he hears his name, then realizes he is always considered lesser. Thaddeus is ignored. No one takes notice if Simon the Zealot speaks his mind. Maybe the only one who is not jealous is the con-artist, Judas Iscariot. After all, they entrust him with all the money.

Why does Jesus choose such an imperfect assortment of friends, especially one who is destined to betray Him?

Because that kiss of death would be the first step toward the redemptive cross.

Because those who met in the Upper Room would gather later in one place, receive the Holy Spirit, and speak in the tongues of nations where they spread God’s Word.

Because the pebble who denied the Cornerstone would declare those who believe in that Rejected Stone could become living stones through Him.

Maybe Jesus chose me because of who I am not. For certain, I declare with praise, “Because!”

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Categories: Personal Parables

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