The Word for today:
mark this: Matthew 10:2-4--
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
One might think, by the title of this article and the highlighted verse, that we'll be learning all about the twelve men whom Jesus chose to be his apostles.
But instead of his choices, we'll look at the choosing and the chooser--because the process Jesus used to choose the Twelve can undo many of the misconceptions we have about Jesus and about ourselves.
Roll these verses over in your mind:
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles. (Luke 6:12-13)
As you do, forget about the twelve apostles and think instead about the hours--perhaps twelve--that Jesus spent in prayer before he named them.
Why the lengthy prayer? Because he had big decisions to make regarding who should comprise the Twelve.
Jesus was a human being just like us, except that he was without sin. And though he was God, he placed the exercise of his attributes (his omniscience, for example) at the discretion of the Father. Thus he did not possess all knowledge, and his unaided knowledge was not sufficient to know whom to choose.
Jesus had numerous disciples, so it might be that during those 10 to 12 hours he presented them individually to his Father, awaiting the nod given to those chosen. We don't know the particulars of his prayer.
What we know is that dependent prayer was everything to Jesus:
"I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." (John 8:28-29)
Jesus was dependent upon the Father for everything. In just the same way, we are dependent upon Jesus:
"Apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)
Dependent prayer doesn't come naturally to us. Certainly twelve hours of prayer is something perhaps none of us has approached.
But how about 12 minutes of dependent prayer before meeting each day's choices and concerns?
Jesus' choices were prayer or nothing.
Our choices are exactly the same.
That blinking twelve means a power outage.