“When it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew” (Luke 6:13, 14).

When the British Parliament passed a series of punitive laws in 1774 after the Boston Tea Party to punish the Massachusetts colonists, the American Patriots called them the Intolerable Acts.  It triggered outrage among the thirteen colonies and led to resistance groups. One secret Boston association that formed was called the Sons of Liberty. They played a key role in fighting against the Stamp Act of 1765.

Most members of the Sons of Liberty were middle and upper class community leaders who organized demonstrations, enforced boycotts, and occasionally resorted to violence. Not all groups associated with the Sons of Liberty followed their leaders, and the term was used loosely for many different colonial efforts against the Crown. Some of its more notable members were Samuel Adams, Benedict Arnold, John Hancock, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and Joseph Warren.

Jesus called a group of followers together to resist the powers of darkness. The twelve disciples were a mixed group of men from different classes of society, different trades, and even different views on religion and politics. Some zealously wanted to fight against Rome. But the work of the apostles was not to use violence or stir up trouble.

It was a privilege to be among these sons of liberty. The freedom they were to bring to imprisoned souls came through faith in Christ. They preached of a Saviour who would release them from the bondage of sin. Among this group of disciples was a man named Bartholomew. We know little of this follower of Christ: his name means “son of the great,” tradition says he was a missionary to Armenia and India, and, like Peter, was crucified upside down.

Each of us is invited to be children of our great God. We all can be counted, like Bartholomew, as bearers of liberty to the ends of the earth. Will you be faithful to your call?

Precious Lord, may I never forget that You measure greatness by humility and strength by meekness.

For Further Study: Luke 6:13–49; Psalm 147:6; James 4:10

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