Calling, appointing, naming the 12 Apostles. No small moment in Christian church history. What would it have been like to be called as an Apostle? Would we have had the courage to accept Jesus' call, appointment, and mission? Do we have the courage to be disciples today?
Mark's gospel makes it clear immediately before the naming of the Apostles that Jesus has stirred serious controversy by forgiving the sins of a paralytic man, dining with tax collectors and sinners, and healing a man's withered hand on the Sabbath. The controversy has grown so strong that immediately after naming the Apostles, Jesus' own family thinks he is "out of his mind" and scribes from Jerusalem (presumably sent by official religious authorities to investigate this potentially threatening person) have concluded that Jesus is "possessed by Beelzebub" and drives out demons by the authority of the Devil. By accepting their appointment and mission to preach and drive out demons like Jesus, the Apostles will be labeled as controversial and dangerous like their leader.
What demons would Jesus be driving out today? Whom would he be healing? With whom would he be eating? About what would he be preaching? What authorities would think he was mentally ill, threatening, or evil? Would I have the courage and faith to follow such a man when he called?
Of course, Jesus is calling each of us every day. We need to discern in our lives what that call is and if we are truly willing to accept it. Jesus' call looks different in different people's lives, but I believe that one way or another it involves dining with and caring for the poor and marginalized, loving, forgiving, healing, welcoming the stranger and the migrant, and tirelessly working for peace and justice.
Jesus, help us to hear your call. Grant us the courage to accept your invitation to join you in your mission despite the potential danger and controversy.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook