12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
Jesus prayed all night seeking God’s guidance with respect to who would be apostles. This passage groups people and their proximity to Jesus. There were apostles as distinct from disciples, but both these groups went up the mountain with Jesus. Then when they came down on the plain there were followers and the crowds at large as well. Jesus loved all his
disciples but some were not called to be apostles. Jesus loved the followers and the crowd too but it does show different levels of intimacy and experience with Jesus existing side by side.
The key gem of wisdom here is that Jesus prayed really hard before making the major decision of appointing apostles. All night he prayed making sure he heard from God. Here is a reminder to us as believers to seek God when it comes to making important decisions in life. It can be easy just to get on with life sometimes and not seek God’s input. He may well have something to say! Jesus humbled himself in prayer and sought God’s advice so we should copy his example.
Dear Lord thank for the privilege of coming to you in prayer. Thank you that you are a God that speaks and guides us in our life. Help me to bring my life before you when making significant decisions that have ramifications. Amen
Written by Ps. Ainslie Woods