Context: What an amazing grace it was to be called to be one of the original Twelve Apostles. Of course, these men had no clear idea of what God would do with their lives or the influence they would have on all of humanity until the end of the world.
Other than Saint Matthew the tax collector, these men came from humble lives. Most of them were fishermen. God called them from humility and, while keeping them humble, lifted them spiritually to the heights of glory.
The calling and response of each Apostle was different. Some were compelled to abandon all immediately when called by Christ. Others responded to the call a bit more slowly, first seeking some knowledge of Christ, then a willingness to follow Jesus at least for a time, and ultimately a willingness to abandon all for their newfound Savior.
As you ponder the call of the Apostles, you are invited to insert your own life into the Gospel call. How has Jesus called you? To what level have you responded? In what other ways is our Lord calling you to radically follow Him?
Scripture Reading: John 1:35–51; Luke 5:1–11
(Optional: Matthew 4:18–22; Matthew 9:9)
First, prayerfully read the above passages, pondering them. Insert yourself into the scene and try to experience what the Apostles experienced. Spend as much time prayerfully pondering each line as seems fruitful. Alternatively, if that is difficult, reflect upon the thoughts that follow.
Reflection: In the passage cited above from John’s Gospel, both Andrew and another disciple are curious about Jesus. They ask Jesus where He is staying, and Jesus responds, “Come and see.”
The next day, Philip is called to follow Jesus. He then goes and finds Nathanael to tell him they have found the Messiah. After Nathanael expresses doubt in the form of a question, he is also invited to “Come and see.”
Reflect for a while on your own invitation to “come and see.” Have you heard this invitation? Have you responded? What have you seen? Where have you been led? What are you being invited to “come and see?” (Silent Reflection)
In the passages from Luke and Matthew cited above, we see a more radical call and response. No longer are they called simply to “come and see.” Instead, they are now called to leave everything behind to follow Jesus. This call is seen by looking at the ultimate response made to Jesus.
Ponder, first, the experience of Peter in Luke 5:1–11. Envision them fishing and putting out into the “deep” at Jesus’ instruction. By following His commands, they bring in a huge catch of fish. And it is that experience that draws Peter to his knees. And as a result, Peter and the others left everything to follow Jesus. Read this scene prayerfully. Ponder the interior experience of Peter that led him to fall on his knees, confess his sinfulness, and ultimately give up everything to follow Jesus. (Silent Reflection)
The passages cited above from Matthew’s Gospel portray an even more immediate and total following of Jesus. Reflect upon yourself making this total commitment. What do you need to give up in order to completely follow Christ? (Silent Reflection)
- Baptism of the Lord
- Two Standards
- Three Classes of Men
- Calling of Apostles
- Wedding at Cana
- Cleansing the Temple
- Sermon on the Mount
- Calming the Storm
- Walking on Water
- The Apostles were Sent to Preach
- Conversion of Mary Magdalene
- How Christ Fed the Five Thousand
- Transfiguration of Christ
- Resurrection of Lazarus
- Supper in Bethany
- Three Ways of Humility