Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 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; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
In this passage we hear the listing of the first disciples, and as important as it is for us to know them, it is more important to know what Jesus called them to do. The gospel tells us “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness” (v. 1). The disciples were given gifts they would need for ministry.
Jesus wanted the disciples to understand how much God loves us and calls us to care for one another. None of the gifts mentioned here were for the benefit of the disciples specifically, they are only useful when applied to others. All of our God-given gifts are for sharing.
God has blessed each of us with a talent to use in our world. Are your talents apparent to those around you? We must explore these gifts and ensure we are using them to the highest purpose – expressing our love for God and making the world a better place for everyone.
Loving Lord, we are thankful for the many ways You send Your love. Help us to share it with our brothers and sisters, driving out evil and healing as You have called us to do. Amen.