Luke 6:12-16: A Prayer that Changed The World

Read: Luke 6:12-16

After telling about “work” on the Sabbath, Luke segues away from teachings on the authority of Jesus to a focus on the ministry of Jesus as he lived with and taught the apostles. Luke starts this section by noting that Jesus went away to pray. This is the second of six mentions in the book of Luke where Jesus does this (Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12, Luke 9:18, Luke 9:28, Luke 11:1, Luke 22:41-46).

What Jesus prayed for during this time is unknown because the Bible does not say, but he was probably praying about the decisions he would have to make concerning who he would select to be the 12 apostles out of his disciples. Jesus had already called out many of them to be his disciples (Luke 5:1-11, Luke 5:27). The apostles, however, would lead the church in the charge to make disciples of all nations, so this was no small decision (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8). Evidently this was weighing on his mind because he went to the place and that he prayed all night.

The office of Apostle (literally “sent one”) in the New Testament is associated with those who had been with Jesus, and they carried the authority in the early church. They were the ones who were responsible for the ministries of prayer, teaching, and evangelism (Acts 2, Acts 6:4). Implicitly, they also were responsible for the creation of the the New Testament. One of the criterion for selection of New Testament scripture was that the book have apostolic origin. In the case of the gospels, Matthew and John were both written by apostles along with James, Peter’s Letters, John’s Letters, and Paul’s Letters. The remainder was written by close associates of the apostles such as Luke who wrote Acts and the gospel of Luke.

The decision Jesus made that night in prayer impacted the world. Jesus’ decision produced the New Testament and started the ministry of evangelism to the world. There are no new Apostles in the modern church, however the are little “a” apostles, also known as missionaries. The authority of modern missionaries and every Christian draws on the authority given to the early Apostles in the church to canonize the teachings of Jesus, which is the Bible. When facing a decisions of any size, Christians ought to face it with prayer and with the The Bible as one’s guide. This means pouring over the Word and imploring God with prayer so that decisions will be crystal clear and in accordance with God’s will, because even seemingly small decisions can have a huge impact!

Lord, help me to approach every decision with prayer and your Word!