Last week in our Lenten Discipleship Group we talked about our relationships and learning to integrate devotion to God, Community and the World. Our meditation for the evening was Luke 6:12-19:
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Our discussion took us in many directions as we examined Jesus’ need to pray to His Father before choosing his twelve closest companions and naming them by name. We wondered what it would be like to be with Jesus when the crowds clamored around him seeking healing.
One of our group asked, “What would it be like to be chosen by Jesus to be one of the twelve?” and another countered, “Do you think that they immediately followed Jesus, or did Jesus have to call them repeatedly after their first encounters?”
We’d all like to think that the minute that Jesus calls us we follow Him with unwavering devotion, but the opposite is probably more true for most of us. Perhaps we start with a lukewarm encounter that builds over time, or we have a “mountaintop experience” at first and then are disappointed with the valleys. In John’s Gospel we hear that people who could see Jesus and experience healing first hand even had doubts (John 6:66-69):
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
I pray that we do not turn back, but instead we believe and know that Jesus is the Holy One of God, and the way to eternal life.
Blessings, my friend,