SCRIPTURE: Luke 6:12-19
Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles
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: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Jesus Teaches and Heals
17 He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. 18 They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
In looking at this passage of Scripture, Trent C. Butler writes “It was decision time for Jesus. How would he set up an ongoing mission that would continue after his ministry on earth? Decision time for Jesus always meant prayer time (see 3:21; 5:16; 9:18, 28 11:1). Prayer time meant withdrawal time, escape from the crowds to the desolate, lonely place where nothing interrupted communication with God. Prayer time led to appointment time. From the band of disciples who followed him, he chose twelve for the special work of apostles.”
Butler points out something that I believe is especially important in that “Decision time for Jesus always meant prayer time.” He then gives several examples “(see 3:21; 5:16; 9:18, 28 11:1)” just in Luke alone. Prayer is one of the primary ways we communicate with God. From what we read in Scripture it seems that Jesus prayed before making some big decisions. Can you imagine doing the same thing? Can you see yourself praying to God when an important decision is presented to you in your life? One of the challenges in doing this is that we cannot wait until the last minute and expect an immediate answer. Not that God cannot act in this way, but rather we need to take the time to truly discern God’s response to us. We have to remember that God is not a vending machine.
Do you pray when you have an important decision to make, asking for guidance, before making the decision? If so, how do you believe this has influenced your decisions? And if not, would you consider trying this practice in the future?
Guiding God, you are always ready to listen to our prayers and respond. Help us to remember that your response can be “yes,” “no,” or even “not right now,” and to accept your response with a thankful heart. Through the power of the Holy Spirit help us to also listen and discern your advice and guidance on both the really important challenges in our lives, as well as even the simplest and smallest. Amen.