Morning: Matt. 28:16-20; Noon: 2 Kin. 9:1-11:3; Evening: Psa. 78:1-8
Exactly six times in the New Testament you read of the twelve apostles referred to as the eleven. All of which naturally occur after the demise of Judas Iscariot, Jesus’ betrayer. All of Jesus’ disciples should have been found on that mountain where they had first been appointed, but one became lost, “the son of perdition” (John 17:12).
Losing Judas among the twelve was like a man losing a finger among the ten. It should be there, but it is not. There it was once joined, but somehow became severed. To see it not is the first thing you can’t help but see. When we hear reference made to the “eleven,” missing number twelve is the first number you truly hear. Why is it that when we often come together as a church, or as a family, as a group of friends perhaps, the first we see is those who are not. There they should be, but there they are not. Perhaps death, maybe unfaithfulness, maybe conflicting schedules, or urgent business has caused them to be away. The most disheartening though is not the temporary loss of one who is away on business, or even the permanent loss of one who has suffered death. It is the loss of one who has forsaken.
Why do some say, “Once saved, always saved”? Is not the son of perdition, the lost disciple, that missing number twelve, a clear indication that one can be saved then lost? One can follow Jesus, then forsake Jesus? Do we not feel the lost disciple burning in our hearts as much as those, if not even more so, who are lost and have yet to be saved? More so I say, for they are like the tenth finger once joined and then severed! It is the first thing you see missing. The first to stand out like the eleven. Where is the twelfth? Why is number twelve missing? Maybe I should rejoice over the eleven, the number that are there. After all, eleven is more than one. But I still can’t help but think about number twelve. That one missing makes twelve, and twelve is better then eleven, is it not?! Yes, twelve is better then eleven. Maybe that is why I think about missing number twelve.
Twelve is a perfect number. Eleven is an imperfect number. Twelve represents all. Eleven represents one amiss. I will do a lot of praying for the eleven, but I will always see the twelfth, the one who is missing, the lost disciple.
“None of them is lost except the son of perdition“