Sunday, June 14, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Call and Commission of the Disciples


Abey Cherian
St. Thomas MTC, NY
12 Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles

In today’s passage, the evangelist Luke explains the call and commission of the disciples of Jesus Christ which began with the first twelve and is extended to all believers in Christ (Mat. 28:19-20).

After a night of prayer, Jesus called the disciples, chose them and designated them with a commission to represent Him in this world. In John 15:16-17 Jesus said “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit”.  This call is initiated by God and is an unconditional invitation of our Lord, available to all. Our responsibility is to respond to His call in faith and obedience.

The list of the 12 disciples paints us a vivid picture of the diversity in their background, character and ability.  Nearly all of them could tell stories of their failures, doubts and fears along their ways. It was not their ability that qualified them to be entrusted with such a great task, but it was the grace of God. (1 Cor 1:26-29).  This is a great encouragement for all of us, who many times look upon ourselves and our abilities and become disappointed because we are not worthy of this calling. In fact, God is seeking people who do not trust in themselves, but only in Him and His grace. 

The grace of God is not an excuse for being idle. The Apostle Paul talked at length about the grace of God, and was careful not take it lightly. He said in 1 Cor.15:10   “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” As we learn from the Parable of the Talents, we have all been given a responsibility according to our abilities, and we are all accountable for what is entrusted to us, in our home, church and society. 

Jesus took His disciples down to the level place from the mountain top to be in the midst of people who were in need of healing and deliverance. We all are designated with the same commission to bring the loving and healing touch of Jesus to others. Along with joy, this is a path we may face with failures, doubts and disappointments. But we have a master who promised that he will always be with us to strengthen us and restore us like He did for Peter, Thomas and all His disciples. There are stories of many who went away from their calling, such as Judas Iscariot (Matthew 26:14) and Demas (2 Tim 4:10) . If we stray from God’s calling it does not mean that His plans will fail, however, we lose the opportunity to become part of His greater purpose. 


PRAYER


Lord, we thank you for calling us and commissioning us for Your Kingdom. Give us the grace to respond to your call and remain faithful on the path you’ve called us to.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
God’s calling is always for a higher purpose.