Heb 8:6-13; Ps 85 Kindness and truth shall meet; Mark 3:13-19
Jesus selects his inner circle. From amongst the many who follow twelve are chosen to be an extension of himself. "He summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him."
What a beautiful description of the call and response that we speak of so often in regards to vocational living.
Vocational living is for all of us not just clergy or those in consecrated life. All of us must at some point in our life respond to His summons if we are to discover happiness or encounter the joy Jesus holds out to us. We must draw close to him before we go out tot he world.
The selection process must have been quite the experience because the diversity of such a small group is quite astounding. Matthew the tax collector who has thrown his lot in with the occupying Roman authorities is asked to stand side by side with Simon the Cananean or the zealot, the one who wishes to over throw the Roman oppressors. Then of course there is Judas Iscariot himself called by name to follow and become something more.
There is definitely not a uniformity of personality in this group of twelve summoned and called. Rather, it is friendship with Jesus that refines and perfects each distinctive personality empowering them to get along for the sake of the mission at hand. It is the purpose that ultimate decides the union not the personalities or the personal traits of each. It isn't a cause that unites but a relationship that holds them together. It is there personal belonging to Jesus that invigorates the mission and acts as the glue that holds them tightly together.
when that personal relationship with Jesus is broken or neglected that is when the union is threatened.
They are called to be with Jesus then sent to preach. It is being with him they are transformed into a united force to transform the world. This is the paradigm. We gather with Jesus and are transformed and then we are sent out where we further our transformation by seeking to bring his message to a world that it might also be transformed.
The twelve form the foundational reality of the church. Jesus doesn't call individuals to stand alone but a group to unite. There is no opposition between Christ and the church. It is the gathering that communicates his presence and power to the world. Jesus calls into question this individualistic approach that is so contemporary.