Faith Daily | 21 January 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 528
by whose grace alone we are accepted
and called to your service:
strengthen us by your Holy Spirit
and make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 3: 13-19
13He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15and to have authority to cast out demons. 16So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Then he went home.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Peta-Anne Warwick
There are a number of really interesting things to consider in this passage. It starts with Jesus going out to the mountain to pray. Jesus, God the Son, felt the need to retire to a private place to commune with God the Father before He made a big decision. Regardless of the demands on his time, people relentlessly pursuing him for something, Jesus made prayer a priority in His life. This highlights how important it is for me to recognise my own need to seek the Lord in prayer. And the decision Jesus had to make was BIG - he was about to choose the twelve men who will be His voice, His representatives to the people of Israel, and the men who will be the foundation stones of His church.
And this is where I can’t help myself (my bible study group knows me well, and just rolls their eyes!). My knee jerk reaction is “Gosh, did Jesus hear what his Father was saying?” I mean, let’s look at it in todays’ world - if I was the captain or leader of a team, I would choose my team according to how likely they are to help us win. But Jesus chose a motley crew. And as for Judas! It’s just nuts!! If there was anything extraordinary about these men, it was not obvious – they didn’t even understand what Jesus was teaching most of the time! He had to spell out to them what he meant in the parables he told.
The amazing benefit of doing Faith Daily is that I am required to dig deeper into the background of scripture. Jesus did not choose people because of what they were. He chose them for what they could become under his direction and power. In contrast to choosing a representative of the 12 tribes of Israel like Moses did, Jesus did not choose from the Jewish religious establishment, but a diverse bunch from various professions and walks of life that ordinary folk may be able to relate to. “It demonstrates that you don’t have to worry about being qualified to be used by God, just surrender your inadequacy to him. For when God does a beautiful thing through an inadequate channel both the channel and those who see it cannot fail to recognise the grace of God” (https://sermons.faithlife.com/sermons/124856-why-did-jesus-choose-the-unlikely-twelve). I like that…
But Judas?? He spent three years working alongside Jesus … surely some goodness rubbed off on him? Well, according to one source (https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/why-did-jesus-choose-judas), Judas teaches us a valuable lesson, and that is it possible to look saved, act saved and not be saved at all. By choosing from the beginning an apostle who was destined for apostasy and destruction, and by including him in his closest relations, and by giving him power over unclean spirits and over diseases, Jesus shows us that religious associations and religious practices and miracle-working are no sure evidences of being a true Christian. And, sadly, even in today’s church we have examples of such people.
But of great importance, the Old Testament Scriptures prophesied this would take place. Zechariah’s prophecy is the most remarkable in that it provides amazing detail of the betrayal of Jesus about five centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus chose Judas to fulfill the Scriptures. Step by step, Jesus moved toward the cross, fulfilling every Scripture concerning his death, right down to the details of how he would be handed over; thus showing that the Scriptures cannot be broken, and that God is in control. So, to answer my question above, “Yes, Jesus did hear right”.
I pray that I may hear and obey.
FINAL PRAYER: https://justdisciple.com/discipleship-prayers/
Lord, you are all-knowing and full of wisdom. Your plan is masterful. Help me as your disciple to follow you in every thought, word, and deed. Give me a heart of obedience and trust that I would not get wrapped up in my doubt or what I think is the right choice.
Help me to recognize that your good and perfect will does not always look the way I think it should, but that doesn’t make it any less good or any less perfect. I desire to be your disciple and follow you all the days of my life. Please give me the strength to do that. Amen.