And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles. (v. 13)
My wife asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, which was
the very next day. I said that it would have been fun to invite some
friends over to hang out for awhile, but I guessed that it was prob-
ably too late for that. Early the next morning she texted several
neighbors, and invited them to come over for a simple dinner if they
didn’t have plans. We’d been wanting to get to know these neigh-
bors who are within walking distance, but we just hadn’t created the
opportunity for that yet. Everyone came, except for the one who was
in Iceland that week. In the months since, we’ve grown closer to these
friends who accepted our unexpected invitation.
Jesus comes down from the mountain after a night of praying
and invites a group of friends to be his apostles. Earlier, he had called
them to follow: Simon and Andrew left their nets; James and John
left their father in the boat. But on this day, Jesus inventories who he
could count on in the difficult days ahead, calls them by name, and
gathers them close.
This passage doesn’t indicate how each one responds to this invitation Jesus offers. But we know from subsequent stories that they must have accepted this opportunity to become his closest friends and companions. Jesus is going to need them, and they will need him. The presence of Judas in the group proves that even our closest friends will sometimes let us down. Nevertheless, Jesus continues to teach us that serving with others is always part of God’s vision.
When I experience a time of trial, who would I call on first? Have I told them that? What would happen if I did?
God, show me the people with whom you are calling me to serve. May we be faithful to that calling together. Amen.