This morning I was trying to imagine what it was like when it came time for Jesus to put his team of disciples together. Since He was God incarnate, He surely knew the how each of those relationships would fare. He also knew their personalities, likes and dislikes better than they themselves. Which would be the bold and boisterous one that would time after time, speak when he should be listening? 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, the most difficult to get along with? Who would be the most sensitive, thus being the one most easily offended by others? And, 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 who were representative of “mankind”, each 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 consider this, one particular type of person comes to mind. He or she is that type that everyone wants to be with. This person is always positive, never complaining or criticizing others. She never joins in on disparaging conversations, but rather is the one who is uplifting and encouraging. Surely Jesus had at least one among the twelve like this. I have my own opinion who it may 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 farther” 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 farther with?” 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 cruified. (John 19:26-27)
When asked what is my own greatest aspiration, I think it might just be that the Lord one day in Heaven would say to me, “Wayne, come and walk with me a little farther.” What an incredible honor that would be!