The Chosen

Luke 6:12-19

Have you ever wanted to be chosen? Have you ever wanted to be appointed? Have you ever wanted to be promoted? 

Have you ever wanted to be called out among others and be recognized and acknowledged?

Oh, to be chosen. Oh, to be selected for a position of honor. The phone rings, you answer routinely, with little thought. The person on the line gives you an unexpected and overwhelming surprise. You have been chosen for something special.  


It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles. Luke 6:12, 13 


Jesus had a tribe of followers. His followers were men and women who had decided to physically follow Him as he traveled the regions of Galilee and ultimately into Jerusalem. We know of the twelve but there were dozens of others. At one point, we know that He paired up 70 of His followers and sent them out to minister and preach.  


Some of His followers were all in and would end up giving their lives for Jesus. Others were intrigued with his words, others in awe of his miracles and healing and others simply had nowhere else to go. However, they all had one thing in common: they hoped He would be the predicted Messiah; the long-awaited King; the Lord of Lords. 


From this band of rag-tag followers, Jesus would choose twelve (knowing one would betray Him), whom he would endow with unique authority and uncommon courage. These twelve, minus one, would define His legacy and carry forward His mission after His death, resurrection and ascension. Were they important? Absolutely. Were they worthy? Not in the least. Will they ultimately prevail in their mission? Without a doubt. 


After praying all night, Jesus called and chose twelve men: Simon Peter and his brother Andrew; brothers James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew, the tax-collector and Thomas, the doubter; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot; Judas, son of James and Judas Iscariot, the traitor. 


Common, ordinary men. Chosen by the One who was currently famous in Israel. The multitudes were following the great prophet sent by God; and this One has chosen them, the twelve. They were the special twelve with the inner connection to Jesus. Jesus would escape the crowds but would always keep the twelve nearby. They would get private meetings. They would be privately mentored and have special insights into what Jesus was thinking and planning.  


These twelve-ordinary men of simple means, average intelligence and little education had no idea what they were in for. They could not have imagined what was in store for them. They didn’t comprehend the pain, suffering and humility they would endure.  


But for now, they have been chosen and it feels good. They felt special. Especially because after their calling, they walked with Jesus as the crowds gathered to be close to the most famous Man in the land.  


Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured. And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all. 


Jesus was the rock star of Israel and the twelve were the groupies; the insiders who were drafting on the fame and popularity of Jesus. How will this specialness affect the twelve? No doubt, pride will be their greatest temptation. Humility will be their hardest lesson. Jesus’ private school of humility training is now in session for the disciples. In His first sermon after choosing the disciple, Jesus preaches to the multitudes. But most likely, the message of humility and sacrifice was more directed toward his selected tribe than the multitudes. We’ll look at this sermon next time. 


Jesus, just like you chose the twelve, minus one, you chose us to be Your followers and to endow us with the blessings of greatness, even though we are nobodies. Just like the twelve, we are ordinary people who have been blessed with power and grace far beyond what we deserve. It can tempt us to be proud, to be arrogant and even complacent. But just like the disciples, you have a plan to teach us, develop us and cause us to be Your humble servants. We don’t know all that is ahead of us but we do know Who leads us – and by Your grace, may we follow You wherever you lead us. We are yours. Amen!