Have you ever wondered what sort of person you need to be to follow Jesus? What sort of person is God looking for? Perhaps you have felt that you need to have been raised in a church? Perhaps you need to have been a good person? Perhaps you need to be conservative or perhaps you need to be spiritual?
It’s an interesting question when we look at who Jesus picked. Perhaps his best known followers are the twelve Apostles who spent so much time with Jesus. What did they look like? What was their background?
Peter and his brother Andrew were fishermen who worked on the Lake of Galilee. Galilee was a sort of back water town, a fishing village, not very fashionable, and yet it was here that Jesus found these two of the twelve.
Jesus also found James and his brother John fishing at the same place and they too were added to the twelve. So four of the twelve are fishermen from a backwater town in Israel.
Matthew was a tax collector, which was a career that was looked down on by most Jews. In some ways he may have been considered a bit of an outcast by most Jews because of his job.
Philip seems fairly religious and may have been a follower of John the Baptist before he encountered Jesus. Simon the zealot was also religious and a bit of a revolutionary, who may have been a little anti-Roman in his younger days.
Thomas was a twin, but we don’t what he did for a living. Judas Iscariot was the treasurer of the group so had a good reputation as someone to be trusted at one point.
Bartholomew, Thaddaeus and James the son of Alphaeus we known very little about. Maybe that’s significant. It seems that there was no one type Jesus was looking for. There were rich and poor, there were religious types, revolutionary types, social outcasts and unfashionable types.
Could it be that the sort of person God is looking for is not a type at all, but those who are ready to hear his call, and decide to follow him? Could it be that their past was irrelevant? Could it be that the most important thing was that they could enjoy a future they had never dreamed of?