Why did Jesus choose only twelve
This Sunday's gospel tells of the calling of the first apostles. Who were these twelve men personally chosen by Jesus to form the inner circle?
These apostles thus differed from the simple ones. According to the Bible, there were twelve men, mostly fishermen, who left everything behind to follow Jesus. The word apostle comes from the Greek and means "messenger". And here it becomes clear for what purpose Jesus chose the apostles. For Pastor Gerhard Dane this means that Jesus "is the transmitter who needs people to be emissaries". The passage from the Gospel of Luke is significant for him, where it says that Jesus sent the apostles to all places where he himself wanted to come (cf. Luke 10: 1). "So apostle means: representative, ambassador, representative."
Jesus goes about with these twelve, he explains his message to them, lets them participate in his miracles and holds the last supper with them.
The twelve goes all out
It is no accident that Jesus chose twelve. The apostles thus represent the twelve tribes of Israel. According to ancient tradition, these tribes taken together form the people of Israel, chosen by God. For Pastor Dane this is a sign that Jesus "wants to call the whole people of Israel into the new covenant with God and not just one group. Applied to today, one could say: not only the traditionalists, not only the progressives, not only those those who were born in our country, etc. The twelve goes all out. "
And this number of twelve is so important that the apostles hold on to it after Jesus' death and resurrection. Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, betrayed Jesus and then killed himself. The apostles choose the disciple Matthias for him to restore the number of twelve (cf. Acts 1:26). Two things should have been important in the selection of the new twelfth man: The candidate must have known Jesus closely and he must belong to those whom Jesus met as the risen one. This also makes it clear what authority the Twelve Apostles had for the church that was emerging in these years: The apostles stand for the unadulterated connection to the origin, to Jesus himself. That is why the Catholic Church also describes itself as the Apostolic Church.
The apostles always stood for the connection to the origin
That means: The set beginning of the apostles and their tradition is normative. That is why the teaching of the apostles is binding to this day, because no one else was so close to Jesus. But apostolic then also means "that one has to note to our church that it has been sent and is not resting in itself," says Pastor Dane, referring to Joseph Cardinal Höffner, who in his time used the word of the "go-there church." "coined. Because the apostles went. They went to all regions, spoke of the risen Jesus, celebrated worship - and were successful. Because the church grew, the apostles founded more and more local churches, there became the leaders of the young congregations, the first bishops. They laid hands on their successors. These in turn built on the foundation of the apostles, passed on their teaching and in turn laid hands on successors. The result was a chain that still maintains contact with the very origin: the so-called "Apostolic Succession".
Over figures? The apostles were "totally normal"
But anyone who now believes that these chosen ones were over-figures and the great heroes of the first years is wrong. Pastor Dane believes that Jesus chose these twelve because they were "totally normal" and sees this as a consolation for himself: "One reads: The apostles were ambitious, envious, and quarreled with one another. But they were fascinated by this Jesus and gave up a lot for it. And therein lies the question to each of us: 'What do I give up in order to be with Jesus?' "
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