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“...Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who turned traitor.” —Luke 6:15-16
There are three lists of the twelve apostles in the Gospels (Mt 10:2-4; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:13-16). Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus, is always listed last. The apostles whose feast we celebrate today, Sts. Simon & Jude (also called Thaddeus), are always listed in spots ten and eleven on these lists. They are the two lowest-ranked apostles, listed ahead of only the traitor Judas Iscariot. They wanted to rank higher, as did all the apostles, and wanted to know who was the greatest (see Mt 20:24; Lk 22:24). Eventually they learned from Jesus to do only that to which they were assigned (1 Cor 7:17).
Simon and Jude went about preaching the Word, curing the sick (Mt 10:1), working wonders (Acts 5:12), and eventually giving their lives as martyrs. When whipped for their faith, they rejoiced at being considered worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name of Jesus (Acts 5:40-41).
Can you rejoice in only being known as a person connected to Jesus? Can you rejoice that your name is written in the Lord’s book (Lk 10:20; Rv 21:27), even if your accomplishments and sufferings are forgotten? Can you rejoice when Jesus increases and you decrease (Jn 3:30), even to be the lowest name on His list?
“Bow humbly under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may lift you high” (1 Pt 5:6).
Prayer: Lord, “how I want to be in that number” of Your saints, even if I’m among the lowest numbers. Be glorified through my life.
Promise: “You are fellow citizens of the saints and members of the household of God.” —Eph 2:19
Praise: Sts. Simon and Jude “went from village to village, spreading the good news everywhere and curing diseases” (Lk 9:6).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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