Lately I have been trying to imagine what it was like when Jesus began to put his team of disciples together. As God incarnate, He knew infinitely more about them than they could have ever known. Which would be the bold and boisterous one that would often speak first and think later? Well, that would be Peter, of course. Who would be the most inwardly devoted and faithful of all. Surely that was John, the Beloved. Which of the twelve would be the most argumentative and sensitive, thus being the one most easily offended by others? Which of these men would be the most jovial, possibly even a prankster?
What if the Lord’s plan had been to select twelve men that were representative of “mankind,” each one unique in his own way? If so, this should make it apparent to us that regardless of our personalities, likes or dislikes, we can all choose to obediently follow and minister on behalf of the Lord. But what about the One we are following? Is He delighted by our obedience and attitude, or is it sometimes difficult for Him to have us along?
As I considered this, one particular type of person came to mind. This is one that is never complaining or critical of others, but rather is uplifting and encouraging. Surely Jesus had at least one among the twelve like this. I have my own opinion who it could have been, but yours may be different. Personally, I think it was one of the “inner three;” Peter, James or John. Why, you might ask? Because on a few occasions it was these whom Jesus chose to go “a little further” with him. (Matthew 26:36-39)
Wouldn’t that be an incredible honor, to be chosen by Jesus above all others to spend time alone with and “go a little further” with Him? Could it have been that He chose Peter because it was he who needed much more instruction as well as humbling? (Matthew 26:75) Could He have chosen James because he was already learning to control his tongue? (James 3:1-12) And could He have chosen John because of his faithfulness to follow the Lord regardless of the danger? John was the only disciple standing on Golgotha when Christ was being crucified. (John 19:26-27)
When asked what is my own greatest aspiration, I think it might just be that one day to be included in this group. In heaven, may it be that the Lord would say, “Wayne, come and walk with me a little further.” What an incredible honor that would be!