Today’s Reading: John 15:12-21
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:6)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Saints Simon and Jude did not choose to be of the Apostles, their Lord Jesus called them. First, to be his Disciples, learning from his teaching, his practice of connecting the Love of His Heavenly Father into the lives of those who needed to hear it, sinners one and all. Sinners received the Gospel of Christ and after believing and being baptized, their lives changed and they started seeing things in a new light, the light of Christ’s Resurrection. Second, to follow the instruction of their Lord Jesus to take what they learned as Disciples, and upon being given the authority from their Lord Jesus, connected it into people’s lives as they spread the Gospel to people in need of knowing hope beyond this world of trial and tribulation.
You may say, ‘that’s not me’. Yet it is you. Through your Baptism, you are called to learn God’s Word, it’s connection and application into first your own life, but then second, having learned the power in God’s Word to turn you from your sinful thoughts, words, and actions, to receive Jesus Christ’s forgiveness continually, you are compelled to share this life-changing Word with those you meet day in, day out.
Saints Simon and Jude were not of the disciples mentioned regularly like Peter, Matthew, and Luke. Yet, they lived their place within the Disciples of Jesus, learning from him, and when the time came, shared their learnings of God’s Word and its connection into life, as they took the message of the Gospel up to Persia. Though spoken of very little in the accounts of Jesus and the Disciples, Saints Simon and Jude followed the instructions of Jesus and bore the fruit of the Gospel into the lives they came into contact with as they traveled and settled in Persia.
Should you find yourself not a Peter, Matthew, or Luke, but rather relate to Simon and Jude, be encouraged that you still have an important part in the kingdom. Jesus chose you and appointed you in your baptism to learn and then go and bear the fruit of the Gospel into the lives of family, friends and all people you meet each and every day. Be strengthened in the promise that though this seems impossible, you can ask your Heavenly Father for help in bearing fruit, and he will give it to you.
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
“Lord, here am I:” Your fire impart To this poor cold self-centered soul; Touch but my lips, my hands, my heart, And make a world for Christ my goal. (LSB 831 v4 of “How shall they hear,” Who have not heard)
-Rev. Carl Thiele is the Parish Pastor in Rosewood, Queensland, Australia
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.