Different Strokes

Boy, are we all different!

The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests.

Aren't we glad, though? What if we were all the same? Dull gray robots, chanting in unison. Ugh!

However, when we take a closer look at how different we are, we start to get a little prickly. Differences are fine as long as you don't bother ME!

In the Church of Jesus Christ, the differences can cause problems just as they do anywhere else.

We can learn a lot about how to get along by looking at the band of disciples Jesus chose. Each of them represented a real man with a real life, real strengths and real weaknesses, doubts and struggles just as we have.

It has been asserted that, other than Peter, they were most likely very young at the time of their calling, probably under 20 years of age. We imagine them to be aged veterans, grey-bearded and somber. But the picture we glean from scripture is very different if we set aside our assumptions first--and that mental image of the painting of "The Last Supper".

I think one reason Jesus called them was because they were so different from each other. Have you ever wondered if each of them represents a particular type of Jesus-follower? What if in studying each of them--and adding a little imagination--we could learn about ourselves?

Over the next 12 posts, I will take each disciple and paint a word picture of the kind of man I see in scripture. It may not be totally accurate, but maybe by taking a closer look at these very real and very flawed men, you can find yourself in one of them. And in so doing, you might discover another reason why Jesus chose you.

Matthew 10:2-3 says, "
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."

We'll take them in the order listed in Matthew's gospel and see what we can learn about the varied, and sometimes half-crazy people Jesus loves.

People like you and me. And her!

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