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January 6, 2020


The Unlikely Call of God

My Dear Friend,

     Jesus chose His apostles in His divine sovereignty, demonstrating His absolute lordship: “He calleth…whom He would”; and again, “He appointed twelve” (Mark 3:15; see 3:13-19). Jesus chose the larger body of disciples and His twelve closest companions according to His wisdom, not our reason.

     We would have chosen mainly Pharisees - whose reputation for godliness was unmatched - possibly a Sadducee or two, at least one of the super-devoted Essenes, some of the leading scribes, and, to round out the twelve, a chief priest. Ah, that would be a smart selection of good, religious, human stuff!

     But we would not have chosen common fishermen, and surely not a despised publican! We probably would have passed over a zealot, since in their overwrought passion for nationalism their sect justified assassinating even their own Jewish brothers if they collaborated with their Roman overlords! And absolutely none of us would have called someone we knew would become a traitor! But Jesus did: "And [He chose] Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him" (Mark 3:19a). Yet each of these choices was a call from God and each served God's purpose in its own distinctive way.

     The diversity, unlikeliness and, by our standards, unfitness, of these candidates Jesus chose for the highest spiritual service shows us the call of God has nothing to do with the choices of men. Nor of human religious councils. Would the members of Israel's Sanhedrin, honorable, well versed in Scripture, and widely respected as they were, have chosen any of the men Jesus chose? Not a chance! There's something else here.

     Jesus' odd, apparently unwise choices also suggest He did not intend to leave His disciples as they were but meant rather to remake them in His own image. At their first meeting He had prophesied, "Follow me, and I will make [remake] you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). So their initial condition did not matter as much as their ultimate condition. What He would make them, not what they had been, mattered most.

     If called of God to Christian discipleship or ministry, we should see ourselves in this inspired history of Jesus calling His original disciples and apostles. We should thank the Lord that he has called us and take it as not a cause for pride but a solemn prompt to stir ourselves to become the men and women He has called us to be in Him. And nothing less!

     And never should we allow the sniping or mockery of those who say we're not fit to serve intimidate or discourage us. They wouldn't have approved of most, perhaps all of Jesus' handpicked apostles either!

     It is ennobling, inspiring, uplifting, empowering, is it not, to think, “Jesus chose me! It doesn’t matter what people think - religious people, wise people, critical people. He chose me! And He chose me as I am to remake me as He pleases.”

     And then let us abide and walk and work with Him so humbly and closely and fruitfully that our lives justify His call. And silence our critics.

Abiding, walking, working with Him,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261