January 16, 2016
As he passed by, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, sitting at the customs post. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed Jesus. (Mark 2:13-17)
The twelve men ultimately called to be the Apostles of Jesus 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…and today, Matthew (Levi), 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 didn’t ask for some time to think about it, or tell Jesus they’d get back with Him. They immediately responded. They were special because they dropped what they were doing and followed Him.