Today we are reading from Mark 3:13-19:
13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 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.
Today we see Jesus call the Apostles. I think this calling shows us a couple of things that are important for us to understand. First, we see that Jesus is beginning the organization of the church. Here we see the Apostles called by Jesus and when we see the church born on Pentecost, soon thereafter we see the role of the Apostles in the organization and leadership of the church.
No church is perfect. St. Matthew’s is not perfect, no church I’ve ever been a part of is perfect, and whatever church you may be a part of now is perfect. The church is imperfect because she is made of people, and we are imperfect.
But let me be clear, we need the church. Hear, early in Jesus’ ministry, He calls the disciples, and these will become the leaders of the church. Jesus is showing us that part of what it meanest to be a follower of His is to be part of the church. We do not walk the road of faith alone, we are called to walk it as part of His body, the church. We need the church. Jesus establishes it and calls us to be a part of it.
Second, though, notice that even Judas is among this group. As we said earlier, the church is imperfect. Among the first disciples, these Apostles was Judas. If you feel like Jesus wants nothing to do with you because of past (or even current) mistakes, see that even Judas was part of this group. Yes, He betrayed. But Jesus called, even Him.
Jesus calls all to follow Him, no matter what. Even Judas.
Today, listen to the voice of the Savior. No matter what, you’d got a place in His body, the church. He calls even you and me.
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