How Jesus selected his apostles

Christ ordaining the apostles
Christ ordaining the apostles

Jesus was very intentional about founding the Church.  It was called The Way by the first apostles.  He would spend the whole night in prayer.  He chose twelve men.  Each of their names is intentionally named.  They were to represent the twelve tribes of Israel.  Hence, we see that he is starting something new and at the same time, it is meant to be a continuation of the past.

What type of men did he select?  Five of them were fishermen.  Now, fishermen in those days were the equivalent of middle upper class businessmen today.  They lived in a very busy, commercial city, Caphernaum.  This became Jesus’ center of activity.  He would depart from Caphernaum and he would come back to it.  His disciples were all learned men.  They knew greek.  It was necessary in such a cosmopolitan city, the trading place between Galilee and those provinces at the north.  A very important route, Via Maris, passed through that city.

Eleven of them were from Galilee.  Only one, Judas, was from Judea.  He betrayed the Lord.  Galilee in those days was like saying the South today (meaning USA).  There was a greater sense of expectation of the coming of the Messiah in Galilee.  The first five disciples were disciples of John the Baptist.  It was John who invited them to follow Jesus.  They all had that flash in their eyes.  Jesus saw it and invited them to “Come and See”.

Of significance, is Christ’s selection of Saul, a pharisee from a very important city, Tarsus.  He was from a wealthy and prominent family.  He was a Roman citizen.  His family had been able to pay for it.  He was very well trained both in secular philosophy as well as in the study of the law according to Judaism.  He had been sent to study under Gamaliel, the most famous Rabbi of Jerusalem, at the time.

Jesus meant a Church for everyone.  It was meant to be catholic (universal in Greek) nobody excluded.  He needed men who had the human qualities, education but above all, the inner desire to give themselves to God.

In a similar way, we must be selective in the people with whom we choose to form as new apostles for the New Evangelization.

Discussion Questions:

1.  How important is it for you to form an A Player Team around you?

2.  What qualities would you look for in an A Player?  Do you have an A Player profile?

3.  Do you believe that it is necessary to be in recruitment mode all the time?  Even when you have nobody else to hire?

4.  How would you go about creating a farm team, i.e., a pool of potential candidates to gather people when you need them?

5.  Did Jesus have a farm team?  Did the apostles have a farm team?

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