Accompanying him were…many others
Jesus was such a mesmerizing preacher and powerful healer that he could have had a very effective ministry on his own. He was a miracle worker who could command evil spirits, the wind, and the waves. He could call down food, water, or fire from heaven. He did not need anyone else is help.
So why did he choose to associate with such an assorted group of people as his disciples? Maybe their diversity can give us a clue. Remember, these were men and women, craftsmen and bureaucrats, educated and illiterate. The only thing they had in common was that they said “yes” to Jesus.
Jesus did not expect all his disciples to be the same. He enjoyed each one of them for their own unique quirks. He encouraged the gifts he saw in each of them. One was good at fishing and providing dinner. Another scouted out places to stay. Still another provided financial help and hospitality. He gladly accepted whatever resources they brought, whatever abilities they possessed, and put them to work.
Why did he do all of this? Jesus understood that his Father wanted to give the world countless reflections of his love and grace. He wanted a community in which every seeker would feel welcome, a kingdom that was a vibrant tapestry of personalities, strengths, and temperaments. If he had chosen only fisherman, he might have alienated the tax collectors. If he had chosen only the poor, those who were more well-off might have felt unwelcome.
This is our Church. Jesus still calls together an unexpected variety of people. He shares our triumphs and disappointments. He enjoys spending time with us, and he finds creative ways to put our gifts to use in building his kingdom. He uses us to reach other people, each in our own way. Every one of us is essential to that work – even you!
You are part of this dynamic company. So other Jesus your strengths and weaknesses, your prayers and longings. Let him use your uniqueness!
-word among us