Jesus called different kinds of people to follow him. His disciples might seem similar because they were all young, Jewish men. But they came from different backgrounds and had different kinds of jobs. Peter and Andrew were fishermen, which means they did not have a lot of money. But Matthew was a tax collector, which means he was pretty rich. They had different personalities, too. James and John must have been pretty confident because they argued about being the best. But Thomas had trouble being confident about anything.
And Jesus called more than the twelve men we call his disciples. He called women like Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Susanna who followed Jesus and supported him and his group of twelve. He called people like Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man who followed Jesus to the cross and buried his body in the tomb.
The variety of people who followed Jesus while he was here on earth points us to the truth that Jesus came to die for every kind of human. He came to die for men and women, boys and girls. He came to die for rich people and poor people, confident people and not-so-confident people. He came to die for people from different places with all kinds of different abilities.
Years after Jesus rose from the dead and went back to heaven, one of his disciples had a vision of heaven. And in that vision, John saw every kind of human. He saw them singing a song with these words...
You are worthy to take the scroll
and break its seals and open it.
For you were slaughtered,
and your blood has ransomed people for God
from every tribe and language and people and nation.
And you have caused them to become
a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth. Revelation 9-10
Jesus invites every kind of person to be his follower. Not everyone will become his follower, of course. That's because following Jesus is simple, but not easy. (You can read more about that in another 4Kids Devotion here.) But every kind of person is invited...from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Read Matthew 13:1-9
In this passage, Jesus tells a story about a farmer who plants seed. He plants it all over the place. Some of the seeds become plants; others do not. How does this help you understand that Jesus invites every kind of person to be his follower...even though not everyone accepts that invitation?
Create art based on the passage from Revelation above. What might it look like to see people from every tribe and language and people and nation in heaven?
Listen to the song "Is He Worthy?" by Andrew Peterson. It is based on the passage from Revelation above. You can find it on YouTube here.