Tuesday, September 9, 2014

“Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend - it must transcend all comprehension.”

“If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it.” - ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Gospel Text: (LK 6:12-19)
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.
When day came, he called his disciples to himself,
and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground.
A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon
came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;
and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.
Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him
because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Why specifically these men?

It is important to note that Jesus names them only after conferring with the Father and that He chooses them in the Spirit, not selecting them on merely human bases. I would suggest that these men were what a friend of mine calls the “gentle searchers,” men who were looking for God and trying to attach themselves to Him and His service.

Jack Kerouac (On The Road) asserts that "[...] the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars." That would not describe these men, no more than the curse from the Book of Revelation (3:15-16), “Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I shall vomit you out of my mouth.”

These men looked hungrily to Jesus for life, and He chose them as His own in a special way. As part of their becoming His, He expected a certain service and a certain constant growth from them. These apostles were neither obsessive action junkies nor inert, they simply sought God --- almost never really understanding what Jesus asked of them or was teaching them.

Doesn’t this apply to us as well? Aren't we also called by name, missioned, and inept --- but deeply loved?

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