Thursday 23 October, 2014
Luke 6:12-16SIMON AND JUDE: COMPARE AND CONTRAST
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.(vs 12-13)
Luke lists the apostles by name because they are so important in the Church’s history. Simon Peter we know very well: he is their leader, humanly speaking the ‘rock’ on which the Church would be built. With all his failings, he is a towering figure.
Jude, on the other hand, is shadowy, to say the least. He is mentioned only twice in the New Testament. He is called the ‘son of James’, but the Greek just says ‘of James’; he might be a brother or a cousin. In the lists of the apostles given by Matthew and Mark, he evidently appears as Thaddaeus – even his name is vague! All we have of his later life is a few legends of little historical value. In the Roman Catholic Church he is the patron saint of lost causes, which seems very appropriate.
In today's world there is a culture of celebrity. In the UK recently, young people were surveyed on their ambitions for the future. Most of them wanted to be famous.
Jude is not at all famous. But that is like most disciples of Jesus. We go on quietly doing what we are called to do, without seeking any recognition for it. We do not, or should not, judge individuals by how well known or wealthy or successful they are.
We do not know much about Jude, but when everything that is hidden is revealed, we may find that his work outshines that of many who are far better known.
Prayer † Loving God, I know that what matters is what you think of me, not what other people think. Help me to live for your glory, not for other people’s praise. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.