January 12, 2015
As he passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they left their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They too were in a boat mending their nets. Then he called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him. (Mark 1:16-20)
The twelve men Jesus ultimately called to be His apostles were not the best and the brightest. The Rabbis leading the religious communities were surrounded by scholarly disciples. These disciples studied and trained for years before being sent out as learned leaders. Only the best were called. Only the best survived.
Jesus, on the other hand, called fisherman and farmers, even a tax collector. He taught them through parables, which they often had difficulty understanding. Even after they were called, their faith surged and faded. Doubt was always looming.
Yet that is who Jesus called. That is who Jesus would later send.
The apostles were not special because they were called. They were special because they responded. They were special because they left their nets and followed Him.