“One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.”

Luke 6:12 NLT

‭‭Why did Jesus choose the twelve men He chose to be Apostles, apprentice leaders?

Was it because of the leadership qualities they possessed?

Was it because of the leadership potential they had?

Was it because of the relational influence they demonstrated?

Was it because they possessed the spiritual gift of leadership?

I don’t know that any of these reasons were the determining factor in Jesus’ decision.  In fact, if that’s what Jesus was looking for, He certainly would have chosen otherwise. 

Jesus chose them because it was the Father’s will. 

Jesus chose them because it was the Spirit’s leading. 

While Jesus might have been asking the Father whom to choose during His night in prayer, I believe He had known whom He would choose for months already.  I don’t think this was the first or only time Jesus prayed about leaders for the movement.  I think He prayed for them and about them continually.  Prayer is an indispensable part of leadership. 

So if Jesus wasn’t praying, wrestling with the Father all night about whom to choose, then what was He praying about?

I think Jesus was praying for them.  I think He was praying for them by name.  I think He was praying for the specific growth that would need to happen in each one’s life, the character development they still needed to ultimately prepare them for their assignment and the challenges they would face.  I think He was praying for them to recognize the cost they would need to count.  I think He was praying for their families and the toll their leadership would take on those who loved them. 

Why do I think Jesus wasn’t praying about whom to choose?

“Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called out the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him.”

Mark 3:13 NLT

Jesus called the ones He wanted.  He had relationship with them.  He knew them.  He saw it all.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  He knew them, and He loved them.  He was driven by relationship. 

“Then he appointed twelve of them and called them his apostles. They were to accompany him, and he would send them out to preach,”

Mark 3:14 NLT

‭‭They were to accompany Him.  He wanted to spend even more time with them.  He wanted to be with them.  He wanted to invest even more into them, and to do that, He needed to focus on a few. 

But why, besides relationship, would it be the Father’s will and the Spirit’s leading to choose these twelve?

This was purposeful. 

This was intentional. 

This was strategic. 

This was meant to communicate value, to send a message. 

“Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:26-29‬ ‭NLT‬‬

‭‭God wanted to demonstrate through whom Jesus chose that He can use anybody.  It’s not about our ability, but rather our availability.  It’s not about our potential, but rather about His power.  It’s not about our gifting, but rather about His glory.  God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called. 

Jesus began a movement with “unschooled, ordinary” men to demonstrate that the most important of all leadership qualities is that one has “spent time with Jesus.”

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

Acts 4:13 NIV

NOTE:Today’s blogpost is based upon Sonlife’s study, Knowing Him / A 50 Day Study in the Life of Christ / Day 26

Knowing Him has companion videos with our global leaders shot on location in Israel. Click here to watch the video that accompanies today’s blogpost