The long night had just ended. Morning had dawned.
He stood up from the rock that he had been lying on – his eyes were sore, and his body, tired. Yet, his spirit was refreshed. He had gotten his answer. He knew what he had to do.
He had just spent all night praying. Throughout the night he had looked up to the heavens and spoken to God, and he had prayed for an answer. And God had not disappointed. He now knew what he had to do.
It was daybreak. He walked down the mountain and called all his followers together – all of them, those who called themselves his disciples.
They were a crowd, following him wherever he went – watching him perform his miracles and listening to him teach new, strange teachings, but with authority.
He looked at them all. His eyes scanned the entire crowd, looking for the ones whose names had been the answer to his prayers.
His eyes fell upon the face of one of them – a strong man, his body roughed up by his profession, his mind, quick and eager to please his master.
Simon, or as he would better be known as later – Peter, the Rock.
His eyes gazed into Simon’s face. Even then, he knew everything that was to come. He knew that this Simon, who would claim to love him the most, would deny ever knowing him, and would shout out curses when a servant girl would accuse him of being his friend.
He knew the pain that this Simon was going to cause him by his denial of their friendship, and by running away when he would need him the most.
But he continued staring into his face.
“I choose you.“
Gladly, Simon Peter moved towards him and stood at his side.
But the Master wasn’t done. He continued to scan the crowd until his eyes fell on the next one – Thomas (or Didymus).
He knew his mission was to preach faith, and yet this Thomas, even after having more than enough evidence, was going to be the one to doubt. He was going to be another, just like Peter, to abandon him when he would need him the most.
Even back then, the Master knew.
But he said it anyway – “I choose you.“
He wasn’t done.
One by one he chose his 12 – his closest friends. He chose his apostles.
Even as he chose them, he could see in their eyes what they were going to do – the way they were going to doubt, the way they were going to run away, the way they were going to hurt his heart, and one of them would even be the reason for his ultimate torture and death.
He knew all along.
But he pointed at them all, one by one, and said the words anyway.
“I choose you.”
How could he not? He had prayed all night, and these 12 men were the answers to that prayer.
He knew what these men would do to him.
And he was right.
They doubted him. They betrayed him. They abandoned him.
And the Master died.
But it wasn’t the end.
He returned three days later, and called his chosen again.
There were no regrets. It was exactly what he had come for.
And now it was time to tell them what they had been chosen for.
He looked at them all and within his heart, the words echoed – I choose you.
He wasn’t done.
His eyes continued to pierce through the crowd, scanning all of them – one by one. He had prayed, and he had received the answer to his prayers.
He knew the pain that would be caused to him by making this choice. He knew the doubts, the denial and even the betrayal. He knew it all…even back then, he knew it all.
But he was more than joyful to make the choice. No regrets, not one.
Because he loved.
His eyes fell upon the one whose name had come up while he had been praying.
His eyes fell…on you.
“I choose you.”