Twelve Ordinary Men

Whom did Jesus call to be His delegates and messengers to the whole world? To whom did He entrust authority over the church for which He was to die? We would have picked the rich, the powerful, the famous, the highly-educated, the well-connected. But Jesus selected ordinary men: Four, at least, were lowly fishermen. One (Matthew) worked for the hated Roman occupation; the other belonged to a revolutionary party (Simon the Cananite – or Zealot). We know another of the others, except that they were all Galileans, residents of a despised and outlying province, far from the power and prestige of Jerusalem. What, then, did they have?* A call from Jesus: They were summoned by the Lord to follow Him and do His will. Communion with Jesus: They spent three years in His company, watching every move, hearing every word. After the Resurrection, they enjoyed His ongoing presence (Matthew 28:20). Commitment to Jesus: They left all and followed Him, despite the danger and opprobrium. At the end of His life, they did desert Him, but after they had received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, they re-dedicated their lives to Him and His service. Community with each other: They stuck together as a group, despite occasional squabbles. After the Resurrection, they lived and worked together in Jerusalem until they were sent out to spread the Good News to all the world. Courage: At least after Pentecost, and often before, these simple men braved danger and difficulty to follow the commands and the example of their Master. A commission from the Risen Christ to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20) As believers in Christ, we all now enjoy the same blessings they did; may we also have their commitment and courage! * For much of the following I am indebted to Malcolm Webber, Ph.D. For the best on Christian leadership development, go to