Jesus‘ criteria for his followers is that one listens and follows him when he invites. If we look at the character of each of the apostles, we find that Jesus has actually gathered a whole bunch of personalities and quite hard to imagine how would they get on. But they did one thing…they listened to Jesus and responded to his invitation. They got on alright because they set aside their differences. They keep their focus on Jesus. SO if we just keep our eyes focused on Jesus…we would come to know that we are all loved by God, no matter who we are [rich or poor; famous or anonymous; black or white, etc.]; where we are, whatever we are doing, and whenever. Sometimes it’s quite a big deal for us to stay focused on Jesus, to listen to him and more so to follow his invitation because sometimes we would think that he is too kind for the bad people or he is too bad for the good people. But whatever category we wish to belong [bad or good or both], Jesus calls us to follow him for he is the only Way, the truth and the life.
There is an amusing story about these first disciples implying that if Jesus would have chosen them today using the modern way of assessing people, only Judas Iscariot would have been found more qualified for the ‘organization’ that Jesus wants to establish than the rest of the apostles. Let’s ponder on how God chose people very different from the way we look at people.
“With a broad swipe at modern psychological testing skill assessment, someone suggested that if Jesus had sent his twelve apostles for these tests, this might well be the reply, he would have received:
‘Thank you for submitting the resumes if the twelve men that you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have taken our battery of tests. We have run the results through our own computer after having arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant. It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for your enterprise. They have no team concept.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has no qualities for leadership. The two brothers, James and John, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas shows a skeptical attitude that would tend to undermine morale. Matthew has been blacklisted by the Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus definitely have radical leanings and registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.
One of the candidates, however, shows real potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right hand man. [Jack McArdle]
-It is his work, and it can only be done by his power. At most and at best we are only messengers, or conduit pipes.
– Thank God our effectiveness as gospel people has nothing to do with our skills and talents. It is the spirit of God working in and through us.
-The ‘world’ could never understand that.