Reading about Jesus this morning, I noticed something I had never paid attention to before. As he invited people to follow him, Jesus began by calling two brothers, Peter and Andrew. They were fishermen and were busy with their trade. After they accepted his invitation, Jesus went on and found two other brothers, James and John. They were also fishermen, at work with their father.
According to Matthew, these were the first disciples Jesus called. So, he began with choosing two sets of brothers. This makes me wonder why he chose brothers. He could have called Peter without calling Andrew. He could have called John without James. Certainly Jesus was not just looking for warm bodies to boost his numbers.
He called people who already loved each other and cared about each other. They had grown up together; they had the bonds of blood, common upbringing, and business partnership.
Why did this matter so much to Jesus? He could have chosen 12 unrelated and disconnected followers.
The journey of faith is a journey of relationship. We need companions as we travel down the path. Jesus began with at least two sets of brothers. He began with men who knew the value of living life together, even working together. They knew they could not do it alone. They knew they needed each other.
We need today to recapture some of that closeness in relationship. I'm so grateful for the church as a fellowship of encouragement, where we can live life together, lean on each other, and cheer for one another!