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Thursday, June 3, 2010

6/3/10- Choosing Judas

13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means "sons of thunder"), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.  (Mark 3:13-18)

John Calvin abridged: By this election, He does not yet ordain them to be Apostles, but admits them into his private instruction training them for Apostleship.  This passage should not be confounded with Matthew 10.  Our Lord went up to the mountain to pray.  This is an example for all of us when we are about to choose pastors to churches- otherwise our efforts will not succeed.  Our Lord prayed as an example for us. If he who was full of the Holy Spirit prayed all night, with such ardor, should not we pray in a similar manner?  Apostleship was not bestowed because of any human excellence, but they were chosen by God's grace.  If they were more excellent than others, then Judas was a mistake (cf. Jn. 15:16; Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:25).  Why did our Lord choose Judas, when there were more worthy men, and he surely foresaw the problem and the stain that would be left upon the Church.  Our Lord expressly wanted to prevent us from being offended when unprincipled people occupy the situation of teachers in the Church, or when professors of the Gospel become apostate.  It is not proper that the stability of the Church should depend on human beings.

Thoughts: I like Calvin's discussion on why the Lord chose Judas.  In our day of rampant apostasy, the Church needs to remember this and not despair.  There have always been those who teach falsely in the Church. In our day, it is hard to not have those who are too legalistic on one hand- adding to what the scripture says, an on the other those who ignore the scripture to say what they want to say.  If God waited to choose the perfect teachers and pastors, He would still be waiting.  The good news is that Jesus transformed all but one.  The good news is that we can have grace toward those who do not teach properly and still the work of the Lord goes on- and God even uses bad/false teachers for his glory (as Judas was used to allow Christ to pay the sacrifice for our sins).  Judas was a tragedy, but-ironically without Judas there would not have been the cross- and forgiveness.
Prayer: Thank you for your grace in choosing me to follow you, Lord.  Use me as you will to further your kingdom today.

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