Ordinary people called to be extra-ordinary
The disciples were an eclectic group of men, mostly ordinary working people; some, fishermen by trade. It was thought that Bartholomew was of noble birth, and Matthew a tax collector. Importantly, they were all different in character and each had their own faults and failings, as well as strengths and giftings.
But they did all have one thing in common: they all loved Jesus and believed He was the Messiah. They had learnt first-hand about the Kingdom of God. They had served and been served by The King of Kings.
We know that during the Last Supper Jesus told the disciples:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” (John 14 v6-7, New Living Translation)
At the same time, at the Last Supper, Jesus told the disciples of the Holy Spirit – the ‘advocate’ who would never leave them, who would lead into all truth. The Holy Spirit was not recognised yet by the world as it didn’t know Him but at the Last Supper, He was with them and Jesus promised that later, He would live in them.
Two dinner-time conversations that would change the disciple’s world forever and the whole world forever!
I often imagine how it would be to have been a fly on the wall at that Last Supper: to witness the man whom I look upon as my first love – the teacher of all that is good, compassionate, righteous, logical, sensible, justice-loving, humble, godly; the one who taught me how to love and be loved and the difference between right and wrong – washing the feet of a group of men who had no idea of what was to come. Men who mostly were humble and hardworking, who didn’t speak other languages, who were mostly village boys, sons of fishermen, not versed with public speaking and with the weaknesses and failings that all human beings suffer. These men at that this stage knew nothing of their destiny: that they, empowered by The Son of God, would be the precursors to the spread the Gospel across the globe.
The picture above deliberately has no faces to help you imagine yourself there.
If I had been there, I would have seen a group of people not dissimilar to those I come across today I am sure! Sometimes a bit weary, asking questions, having moments of scepticism, but each with one thing in common – loving Jesus; following Him and His teachings; and knowing that, as long as they kept Him close to their hearts, that they will be blessed with the fullness of God’s heart; and that they will never, ever be alone!
Let us, like the eclectic group of disciples, pray that He will renew each one of us daily with His Holy Spirit, so that we can go out and do our best to bring His Kingdom to earth, to follow His commandment to love Him with our very being and our neighbour as ourself.