Several things came to mind as I read this story:
- It's important that we spend some intense, focused time with God before choosing leaders. Throughout the years I've seen too many church people flippantly placed in positions of influence. Jesus realized the enormity of this decision and spent adequate time in prayer before making it.
- I can only imagine some in his crowd of followers were bummed that they were not chosen, possibly offended. "Doesn't Jesus see how much I love him? Can't he see how much I've sacrificed to follow him? Can't he see how talented I am? Why didn't he chose me? And what did he possibly see in Simon the fisherman? And Matthew the tax collector? Are you kidding me?"
- Knowing Jesus would probably offend a few he could have taken the easy road and expanded his group to 24. Or he could have skipped the whole process all together, taking the path of least resistance. But no, Jesus realized he needed a group of leaders and he made the tough decision. How we can learn as leaders to make the right decision, which is not always the easiest decision and it's often not the popular decision.
- And lastly, how incredibly honored the twelve must have felt to be chosen among so many! "Jesus wants me! To be what? An apostle! Are you kidding?! I'm just a fisherman...I'm a tax collector...I'm a zealot." How could these men know at that time what they were in for:)