He appointed twelve – whom he also named ‘apostles’ – so that they might be with him, and that he might send them out as his messengers, to preach,
you whom I have called
I hereby dub you The Sent
sent as a seed
wherever you come to ground
sent to multiply
faster than biologic limits
sent one by one
and two by two and all by all
within a commonality
sent as me
always looking for the greater than me
sent forever sent
not to replicate but to evolve
Would an apostle by any other name, have as sweet a message? This question comes because of the doubt scholars have raised about the phrase, “and called them apostles”. There are additional textual issues here about a doubled “appointing” and additional words about “healing” that, when added together, basically mean we have no way to put this verse back together.
Basically we can leave it with three points: (1) Jesus designated a small group—a first culling different from Matthew’s sense of a group already functioning as an inner circle, (2) those appointed are to have more contact with Jesus—extra tutoring, and (3) their task will be that of proclamation—messengers (apostles).
When a set-back occurs, such as the formal establishment of a conspiracy to do away with Jesus, it is time to finally get organized. There is a direct relationship between a threat and a more efficient training program that needs to be instituted. This is simply practical.
Jesus’ Way is binary in process but the life is to be found between the poles. (1) Drawing near to Jesus: prayer, retreat, learning, and following—are all inhalations or preparations. (2) Preaching: practiced prayer, putting retreat plans to work, applying lessons learned, and following where the Spirit of a Living G*D leads beyond direct connection with Jesus—are all exhalations or implementations. It is in breathing that the life of Jesus’ Way develops its on-going energy—its ability to be merciful in the face of every loss, trauma, and fear which will come our way.