Friday July 21 2017

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Scripture: Mark 3:7-19a

Key verse: (14) And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him and to be sent out to proclaim the message.

Reflection: What was Jesus thinking?  Doesn’t he know that if you want to get a job done, you should do it yourself?  Jesus chose twelve people who would work alongside him and who would be sent out to proclaim his message.  The word “apostle” literally means “sent one.”  Apostles are sent, commissioned by an authority to deliver a message to someone. The implication is that the apostles are trustworthy and that Jesus trusted them with his message. Their mistakes and weaknesses wouldn’t destroy the good news. He chose twelve and sent them out into the world.

What was Jesus thinking?  Doesn’t he know that the most efficient and effective groups are comprised of like-minded people? Jesus chose twelve people who were an unlikely crew of co-workers. There were four fishermen, including two brothers who earned the nickname “Sons of Thunder “(hotheaded young men perhaps?). There was a tax collector named Matthew who worked for the Roman government and would have been seen as a dirty traitor. There was Simon the Cananaean, in other gospels called “Simon the Zealot,” who likely was a revolutionary hoping to overthrow the Roman government and restore Israel’s sovereignty.  The twelve apostles remind us that from the beginning the followers of Jesus have had diametrically opposed views about the world and have had to figure out what it means to minister together.

What was Jesus thinking? Doesn’t he know that you should choose your friends wisely? Jesus chose Judas to be an apostle.  The gospel writer tells us now, in chapter three, that Judas is the one who betrayed him (which won’t happen until chapter fourteen). Judas’ betrayal hangs over him like a dark cloud from the beginning. Judas is in the mix, entrusted with the message, given the authority of the gospel.  And he is the one who betrays Jesus. Jesus calls sinners to follow him, even those who betray him personally.

My name and your name aren’t on the list in this passage, but imagine if our names were listed.  Imagine that Jesus entrusts us with the message of grace and sends us into the world. Imagine that we serve alongside people with whom we disagree, sometimes vehemently.  Imagine that among us are sinners, even those who betray Jesus in horrible ways.  You don’t need your imagination – this is real life! We are called and sent out, serving with all sorts of people and making big mistakes. Jesus chooses to use us, even us.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, remind me of your call in my life. Equip me to serve you faithfully. Use me to share your good news today. Amen.

Author: Millie Snyder

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

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