The Twelve Misfits

When Jesus called his disciples, he selected a group that clashed with each other. Some were family; some were friends. None of them were very educated, but they had a good work ethic. It almost seems like Jesus hand selected people who would labor without wavering instead of selecting people who knew the Law but weren’t willing to work. Jesus repeatedly spoke about the need for more workers in the field. This would have resonated with the disciples who owned their own businesses. They were used to recruiting workers and working with other people of other trades to make their business work.

It must have been a shock to the twelve apostles when Jesus called them to follow him, especially given their lack of formal education and their backgrounds as fishermen. It must have come as more of a shock when Jesus gave them the authority that he did: “And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction” (Matthew 10:1 ESV).

What’s even more telling is that Jesus selected a group of people who were wildly different. This sometimes lent itself to intense fights among the twelve. They argued over who would hold the best position in heaven. They often didn’t understand what Jesus told them and would argue over the meaning. And, of course, Judas betrayed Jesus the same night that Peter denied knowing him. Yet Jesus divinely selected these people.

We must remember that our level of skill, education, and money are not what matters to God. While those things can add tremendous value, God will empower anyone who is willing to carry his word to the lost and hurting.

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