In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Just like yesterday’s reading, Jesus calls the faithful to follow him…
- Simon (the zealot)
- Judas (James’ boy)
- Judas (the bad one)
What’s interesting is to compare these two lists, they’re in a bit of a different order (Andrew is by his brother Peter, Simon was placed before Thaddeus, and Thaddeus is called by his other name “Judas” with the other Judas).
Peter is always first, and Judas is always last, and I think that says something about who they were, but I think the fact that the order does change tells us they are not “ranked,” they all followed Jesus.
I do like how Luke describes the last Judas “who became a traitor.” It’s not that he was always evil, but he became that, Judas made the choice. Obviously Jesus knew the end from the beginning, yet Judas really did follow Jesus. There came a point in his life when he was presented with a choice, will I follow Jesus or will I go my own way. Is my faith real or was I just “playing church?” Peter faced the same choice after he denied Jesus 3 times. Peter went out and wept bitterly, Judas wen’t out and gave up.
Don’t stop following Jesus. Go back up the mountain. You get to determine how you end up when you don’t give up!