I can relate to all of the disciples in some way. Maybe I can’t relate as much with Judas Iscariot. But except for the work of Christ in my life, I would have rejected Jesus like he did.
I’ve definitely opened my mouth as Peter and regretted what I said. I’ve shown passion for Jesus with the same mouth as betrayal, like Peter did.
I’ve doubted like Thomas, but I’ve declared “my Lord and my God” as Thomas said. This is significant because Thomas was declaring the personal nature of a relationship with Jesus. This was ground-breaking at the time, we just don’t realize how amazing this actually is to have a personal relationship with the Lord God of the universe.
I’ve been proud like the “sons of thunder,” James and John, who wanted the best seats in heaven. I’ve fallen asleep like they did when they were supposed to be awake and praying.
I’ve felt like an outsider like Matthew, the tax collector, who was rejected by Jews because he worked for Rome. And yet Matthew found a home, a family with Jesus, the disciples, and the early church.
I’ve felt like a nobody like Andrew, a fisherman along with his brother Peter. Someone like Andrew, who had a low-level job and was probably being overshadowed by his brother must have felt small and ignored. But Andrew was always noticed and included by Jesus.
Then there was Philip who told Nathanael about the coming of Jesus from Nazareth. I often feel like Philip in my feeble attempts to tell others about Jesus.
I can often feel cynical like Nathanael who doubted that anything good could come from Nazareth.
And last but not least, there’s Matthias, who became a disciple when he was chosen by lots to take the place of Judas Iscariot. But nothing is an accident in God’s eyes and no one is a second-class citizen in His kingdom.
I’m sure the other disciples could feel left out sometimes when Jesus took Peter, James and John to places alone, like up on the mountain top. But both they and I will not be forgotten by God.
It’s God who changed the hearts of mere men to become the fathers of the early church and tell the truth to people, who eventually told enough people so we could hear the truth today. It’s God who ministered to the hearts of the women of the early church who are still forgotten about but were just as valuable and important as the male leaders. It’s God who touched, held, and healed the brokenness of so many weak humans whose stories we hear about in the gospels. And it’s God who transforms me to be the image-bearer He designed for me to be in this very moment.