14 And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15 and to have authority to cast out demons. 16 So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17 James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18 and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
This is a motley crew. The twelve apostles are a cross-section of first century society. James, John, Simon, and Andrew are fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector working on behalf of the Roman Empire. Simon the Cananaean was a zealot (zealots were ancient terrorists who would go around stabbing Roman soldiers). And Judas, who betrayed Jesus.
Jesus is able to keep all of these men together, not because they think the same things, but because he keeps them devoted to a higher cause. And that cause is proclaiming the good news.
In our current world, we have allowed divisions to get the better of us. We sort ourselves by school, by subdivision, by political preferences.
Open your eyes to the world you live in. Is it diverse? Are you open to differences of opinion? Or are you presuppositions stronger than the high calling to which Jesus has given you?
The Rev. Jimmy Abbott