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Luke Study #55 – Called

The Gospel Of Luke

Luke 6:12-16 (CEV)

12 About that time Jesus went off to a mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night there. 13 The next morning he called his disciples together and chose twelve of them to be his apostles. 14 One was Simon, and Jesus named him Peter. Another was Andrew, Peter’s brother. There were also James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus. The rest of the apostles were Simon, known as the Eager One, 16 Jude, who was the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.


I have this odd habit of getting jobs that I never applied for. It happened when I started working for one of the members of the Genetic Alliance. I got a message one day from the lady who was trying to set it up asking me if I would be willing to help, letting me know the hours and the pay and what she was hoping I might bring to the project. It happened when I started working for a church a number of years ago. I got a message from the priest asking if I would be willing to help, letting me know what they were hoping for from me, and what I could expect in return. And it happened again when I started working for a local social agency here. I got a message from the Executive Director asking if I would be willing to help, letting me know about the role they had available and why they thought I would be ideal for it, and what the pay would look like.

And so I have a bit of a feeling of what these disciples must have felt that day.

On the one hand, they must have been honoured. They’ve been following Jesus around for a while now, and now this guy, who they clearly respect and like, is choosing them. Plus, there’s a certain cache attached to having the title of ‘disciple’. It makes you special, it makes you important.

But I suspect that like me, they must have also felt a bit intimidated by it. You see, I don’t have a degree in genetics, I’m not ordained for ministry and I haven’t qualified as a social worker. These guys, likewise, are a bit of a rag-tag bunch. It’s likely that few of them would have made the grade to study under other rabbi’s. The fact that many were fishermen, there was at least one tax collector, and the other folks we know nothing about means they were not the ‘cream of the crop’ of rabbinical students. These guys weren’t the high flyers. They were the ones who had done the bare basics of an education and moved on to places and responsibilities that they were ‘more suited to’.

No, the only reason I was chosen for the jobs I got was because I’d been hanging around these places for a while. I’d gotten to know the people who became my bosses. We’d had conversations. They’d had a chance to get to know me. I’d shared ideas and thoughts about the work that they were doing, and they’d decided that they liked what they saw and heard.

And the apostles are here because they’ve been hanging out around Jesus for a while. They’ve watched a few dozen healings, attended some dinners, heard some of his teaching in the synagogues, listened to a few parables, and here they are, having waited all night while Jesus went off to pray, being selected out from a crowd of others and having a remarkable honour conferred on them.

Apostleship, I think, was bigger than they had ever hoped or dreamed of.

And because this is Jesus – because this is the Kingdom that seems to relish turning everything upside-down – it seems that this was actually the point.

The last are first. The Kingdom is coming.

The humble are raised up. The Kingdom is coming.

There is a place for the weak and the slow and the gruff and the coward and the poor and the cheat. The Kingdom is coming.

There was no uncertainty that day. These guys knew they’d been called. Whatever doubts they had about themselves or their abilities were irrelevant. Everyone had heard Jesus say their names. So what other choice do they have but to find themselves stepping forward, being set apart, beginning their training with Jesus at a whole new level.Journal Questions:

  1. Jesus called the twelve apostles for something special. That happened a long time ago, so it’s easy to assume that was then, this is now. That was for them, but we’re different.
  2. Except that Jesus seems to keep calling people – and over and over throughout history, has called some of the most unlikely folks to step up and be part of this Kingdom-breaking-in work that he’s doing in tiny ways and huge ways alike.
  3. Have you been called?
  4. Did you say yes? Or did you come up with a million excuses of why it couldn’t apply to you?
  5. What has that meant for your life since that day?
  6. Do you feel like you haven’t been called, but you’d like to be?
  7. What would it look like to choose to spend (more) time hanging out with Jesus? What would it look like for you to get to know him more deeply, learn to trust what he has to say, so that you are ready to hear his call?

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