JESUS RECRUITED 12 DISCIPLES - DAY 14
Anyone remember the game "Trivial Pursuit?" Christians game out with their own version, called "Bible Trivia." I have played both these games. I was not good at either. For at least two reasons. First, I tend to be slow. When asked a question, I often ruminate on it, the dial in my brain gets set to 'slow cook', and my chin tilts slightly downward while being held in my hand. I am.... thinking.... about this.... question.
Secondly, I am not very good at remembering and memorizing Bible facts. Like:
Q: "Which of the two dreamers in prison with Joseph was executed?"
A: The "chief baker." (Gen. 40:22)
Fortunately my status as a child of God does not depend on answering these kind of questions.
I've consistently had difficulties, when pressed, in naming the 12 disciples of Jesus. I never in my life took the time to memorize them. I do know that Jesus called twelve out to follow him, told them to leave everything for the sake of his kingdom mission, and that none of them had graduate degrees.
I also know - and this is what really interests me - that Jesus "discipled" them, mentored them, to do the very things he was doing. This is way more important to understand than what their names were. New testament scholar Richard Bauckham explains:
"By accompanying Jesus at all times, they were to learn from him how to continue his own mission: to heal and to exorcize, to bring the good news of the kingdom to the destitute and the outcasts." (Bauckham, Jesus: A Very Short Introduction, p. 51)
These 12 no-named Jesus-followers then began to do what Jesus did. Jesus equipped them and gave them authority. When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick... 6 So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. (Luke 9:1-2, 6)
I may not remember the names of "the Twelve"; I do remember what Jesus mentored them to do. This has so impressed me that, at Redeemer we changed our mission statement to read:
THE MISSION OF REDEEMER FELLOWSHIP CHURCH IS TO:
HEAL THE SICK
DELIVER THE OPPRESSED
RAISE THE DEAD
PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS AND HIS KINGDOM
Jesus, and his followers, come to proclaim the good news, drive out demons, and heal people everywhere.