King James Version (KJV)
2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;
3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
The Assembled Number
I want to share one of my favorite English words with you - triskaidekaphobia (pronounced tricks-a-deck-a-fobia in case it's a new word for someone). I'm a word nerd and that is definitely a nerd's word.
The word refers to the fear of the number 13 and it seems appropriate given our new year.
It's interesting how we fixate on things in life...assigning luck, both good and bad to numbers and things, labeling things as our songs, our jams. But this one, this fixation on the number 13 is of special interest. There are buildings all over the world that don't have a 13th floor. There are people who will do everything they can to avoid the number.
There are good 13's though. A 'baker's dozen' usually means 13 and who doesn't want an extra cupcake? And there's this group that started with Jesus. Everywhere they went together, it was a group of 13 when we include our Savior. It's our habit in the Believer's world to talk about the Twelve...but then as now, what were the disciples without their Teacher? What are we without our Lord?
Simply put - we're lost.
I'm not superstitious (another favorite word). I don't practice triskaidekaphobia. I have a black cat at home who crosses my path everyday. But there are people who put their belief in these things...strongly. There are people who are paralyzed without guidance from astrological writings or who cannot function without consulting 'the bones'.
I serve a living Savior. There are those who would lump this in the category above. The difference is there isn't a chicken foot or a star alignment who willingly left Heaven, allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross, got up from the grave and who sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for me. Living, breathing intercession on MY behalf. On your behalf.
Thirteen is a wonderful number. So is two because the Word testifies where two or more are gathered, Jesus in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20). 100 is a favorite number because Psalm 100 calls for a joyful noise that anyone can make. Three works too for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. One is incredible because there is One Lord, one faith and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).
I could go on.
Loved ones, there will always be people who give more credence to the creation than the Creator. I cannot, and wouldn't think to, change anyone's belief, but I can share truth. And when we're each ready, Truth reveals itself to us.
I hope that this is the luckiest year of your life and mine because I pray that this year is the year we all go deeper. If that means meeting Christ for the first time, then wonderful. If that means moving from a knowledge of Christ to discipleship, all the better. If it means finally working in that calling that's been assigned, PRAISE GOD! As long as it means more of Jesus by December 2013 than we know this January, then it's a great year.
The number doesn't matter as long as Christ is the One.
Happy New Year!
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