Matthew 10:2-4 NIV
These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; [3] Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; [4] Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Another list of names, this time not Jesus’ family tree with all its quirks and symbolism but the list of the people Jesus called to be his apostles. And what a mixed bunch they are too! There are fishermen, tax collectors, revolutionaries and Roman collaborators. Some were extroverts and made a stir, others were more quiet and worked in the background – what do you know about Thaddaeus?! Of course there is a bit of a gender imbalance here, women leaders would not have been acknowledged by others in that culture, but any cursory reading of the Gospels makes it clear that Jesus had in many ways an equal number of significant female followers, again of different personalities and backgrounds. Such a list made for some interesting interpersonal dynamics I’m sure, but isn’t it wonderful that Jesus calls not just people like him, or not just yes men, but people of all characters and opinions and cultures!

Lord thank you that there is space for me in your Kingdom. Teach me to accept others today as you accept us.

Today’s NT in a Season readings: Mt.10-12