Twelve. That’s the number of disciples we are used to hearing about. But what if I told you there was a 13th disciple. One that isn’t spoken of much, but is just as important as the rest. Would you believe me?
For many of you, we would first have to get passed the suspicion surrounding the Number 13. Considered by many to be a number symbolic of bad luck you would assume no good could be associated with such a position.
The odd number, the one that doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest, the one that everyone rejects!
Defined as One who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another, all disciples share one thing in common and that is that they are all hand selected. Despite popular belief, it is the teacher who chooses His followers. Though many may express an interest, only a few have what it takes.
Criteria isn’t very complicated. In fact when Jesus considered who He would select as part of His core group He didn’t seek out the perfect. On the contrary, He searched for the broken whom would allow themselves to be made whole! He searched for the number 13’s.
This weekend I watched a movie that tells the story of a number 13. If you haven’t seen Risen, I recommend that you do. It is a tale of one who met the criteria for the position of 13th Disciple quite easily. He was the odd one out, he didn’t fit in with the rest of the group that followed Jesus, and he was rejected and feared by many. He was the absolute perfect number 13! Of course what made him perfect wasn’t his flaws but the fact that his life was changed by love and his desire to tell others of G-d’s acceptance.
Jesus’ original 12 disciples came from all walks of life. Included in the group were fishermen, tax collectors, political activists, common people and what were considered uncommon leaders. Some were rich, some were poor, some were educated and some were not. Yet, they all had one thing in common…they were spreading the Word and testifying of the acceptance of all!
This evening as I sit here and write this blog, I can’t help but think of myself as a number 13. My past qualifies me for the position…least likely, odd number out, fragmented etc. But what makes me absolutely perfect for the position is when I look in the mirror and see my flaws covered by His love and grace. It is then that I am reminded that I was hand selected by Him.
What do you see in the mirror today? A 13th Disciple?