Jesus' Squad

When we think of the "disciples" some of us think of the "12", Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot.  But in Luke 6:12-16, Jesus refers to the "12" as Apostles. 

In Luke 6 we are told that Jesus picked His 12 Apostles from a group of disciples.  So what's the difference between a disciple and an Apostle?  The definition of a disciple is a learner, a pupil.  Jesus had and still has a MULTITUDE of disciples.  But an Apostle usually refers to someone who is sent for a specific purpose.  Its literal meaning in the Greek language is "a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders".  So the 12 Apostles were disciples, but not all of Jesus disciples were apostles.  Make sense?  The Apostles were chosen to be in Jesus' inner circle, so to speak.

Luke 6:12 tells us that before Jesus called His many disciples to announce who made the final cut as an Apostle, He PRAYED ALL NIGHT LONG.  Jesus didn't willy-nilly choose the ones who would be closest to Him by a game of eeny meeny miny mo, He didn't roll the lot and cross His fingers that the dice landed where He wanted them. (Even though that was an acceptable way to make decisions in those days, YIKES!)   He spent all night set apart in prayer.  Jesus knew the best way to make an important, life altering decision was to connect to His Father.  Earlier this week I wrote about a sermon I heard long ago that changed the way I made decisions, if you haven't checked that out, here the link to it : .

Ok now, back to Jesus' version of "The Apprentice".  Who would He trust with the most important job of all of the jobs?  Who would He let into in His inner circle?  Who would He choose to spread The Good News to all the ends of the Earth after He returned to His Father in Heaven?   You can be certain Jesus didn't make those decisions alone.  He asked His Father for guidance.  Jesus always trusted His Father to make the most important decisions He would have to make while He was here on earth.

Jesus was so well connected to God, that He didn't let others influence His life in a negative way, but we tend to soak in the behaviors of those close to us.  So I ask you : Who are you surrounded by?  Who do you trust with your story?  Are you strategizing with your Father in Heaven, through The Holy Spirits guidance, when choosing your "inner circle"?  Or are you casting lots and surrounding yourself with those who gamble on life with poor decisions and even poorer behaviors?  Spend today in Prayer.  Ask God to prune away the negative influences in your life.  Pray for discernment to differentiate between the good and the not so good and for the strength to walk away from destructive relationships.  It won't be easy, but it will be sooooo worth it.