In today’s world, a common requirement for businesses is diversity in the workforce. The idea is that you can’t serve all the people if you don’t have those who can relate to their needs. The evil of segregation is not just isolation. It is also the failure to have a variety of approaches to the issues of the day. We see diversity in Jesus Christ’s apostles. Consider the diversity of the apostles He chose and others who helped spread the gospel:
PETER – An impetuous fisherman and his brother ANDREW – Fishing was the lowest of all occupations, and Matthew 4:18-20 indicates Peter and Andrew may not have had a boat but cast their nets from the shore.
JAMES and JOHN – Fishermen brothers who had a boat. They were control freaks who didn’t understand the mission of Jesus. (See Luke 9:52-56 and Mark 3:17.)
PHILIP – The naysayer who was always asking questions. (See John 6:5-7.)
THADDAEUS – His name indicates a warmth of character.
SIMON THE ZEALOT – He was from the Zealots, a politically incorrect group at risk with the Roman government.
THOMAS – A doubter who was paralyzed by peer pressure and science. (See John 20:24-28.)
MATTHEW – A hated tax collector ( publican) despised by the general population.
BARTHOLOMEW and JAMES THE SON OF ALPHAEUS – The invisible apostles who apparently worked behind the scenes to do the will of Christ.
JUDAS – A thief. (John 12:4-8.)
PAUL – A highly educated Jewish scholar.
LUKE – A medical doctor.
Today we understand the importance of diversity. In Jesus’ day, people didn’t understand His message or the choice of His followers. Luke 8:3 tells us of how the ministry of Jesus was carried on, with a wealthy woman and one who had come out of bad situations providing financial support. In addition to the diversity in Jesus Christ’s apostles, there are many lessons for us to learn as we look at Jesus’s teachings and what He did to spread HIs message to the people of His day.
— John N. Clayton © 2023