Jesus calling the original twelve disciples may, at first glance, seem like a bore. Yet, like everything our Lord did, Jesus acted with grace and sensitivity to the Father. This list of names of the people Jesus would spend the next three years with is nothing less than a motley crew of disparate individuals who have nothing in common other than being Galilean Jews. For example, putting Simon Peter and Simon the Zealot together on the same team would be akin to having Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and CNN’s Bill Maher paired-up for a three year task force on political action; having James and Judas Iscariot linked in a small group is not much different than thrusting Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi in the same group.
If we were to judge Jesus on his team building skills based upon contemporary conventional wisdom, this would be a disaster. The issue would not only be that it is unlikely that they could ever work together, but also that it would create a potentially explosive situation where they might literally ring each others’ necks. Yet, it was this crazy lot of men that ended up turning the world upside-down after Christ’s resurrection and ascension.
Jesus knew what he was doing. The glue that held them together was the person of Jesus himself. And today’s church must be knit together not on the basis of shared politics, the same ideas of how things should go, or even around who the pastor is. No, the church is and ought to be centered completely in the person and work of Jesus. When individuals and churches explode or implode it is because Jesus has ceased to be both the subject and object of worship and ministry. It is to Christ we must continually look to in order to work together and experience genuine life change as Christians.
Father, Son, and Spirit, Blessed Holy Trinity, the God whom I serve, may my life totally revolve around you, especially the person and work of Jesus. Help me to put aside my personal agenda so that I might clearly understand your will for me. Amen.