Acts 1:13 – When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.

 

I don’t know about you but as Luke records for us, not for the first time, the names of the disciples, I’m struck again by the oddity of Jesus’ selection: a number of fishermen, a tax collector, a religious hot head, to name just half. Indeed, having encountered them in the gospel already, some of the names of these ‘men of Galilee’ evoke feelings of both affection and dismay. Sure they had faith to respond to Jesus’ call but most of the time they displayed fickleness, to the point that you wonder why Jesus persisted with them. Peter is perhaps the most obvious example, but he’s not the only culprit. What about James and John, the sons of thunder? Good men, I’m sure, but I wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of them. And then of course Thomas, who, rightly or wrongly, has become a by-word for doubt.

Put it like this: if I was choosing a team that was going to change the world, I would not pick this lot. But maybe that’s the point: I’m not choosing; God is. And God, as we know, is the master of taking broken things and making them into something beautiful for him. Yes, there is the matter of Judas. We shall come to him in a moment. But for now, as the apostles gather in the upper room once more, let us marvel at the grace of God.

 

Prayer: I thank you Lord that you don’t wait for perfection before you choose your team. Thank you for choosing me. In the perfect name of Jesus. Amen.