The Apostles—as Real and Messy People

I always imagine the apostles wearing clean robes and hanging out in near-perfect harmony. Never fighting, or griping, even though the Bible gives us some clear examples of their worldly interpersonal relationships. Nonetheless I just don't think of them as having regular people problems. I especially don't imagine Jesus putting up with it if they did.

Just to put a face on what it could have been like (and I don't imagine any of this is true... it just helps paint a different picture for me), I've drawn up some suggestions, as though I was there, noticing all the small little things:

Peter picks his nose... with some regularity. He either then flicks these, or eats them. Both get really old in close quarters over long periods of time.

Andrew is the guitar guy, busting it out at every stop and playing partial songs he never completes or actually sings. But he hums a lot, keeps practicing that one riff he can't get right.

Speaking of which James is the one who always sings off tune during worship sessions. For whatever reason he feels compelled to do so very loudly. The other disciples both secretly laud his bravery in this matter, and long to beg him to just sing quietly.

John refuses to bathe as much as the others request, he keeps insisting it isn't natural.

And speaking of smells, Philip daily has a strong reaction to the lentils that are a regular part of the diet.

Bartholomew is a close talker.

Matthew always carries a coin with him, rolling it between his fingers, and flipping it, yelling "Caesar's head" or "Caesar's rear" and trying to catch it with the correct side up.

Thomas has a really annoying habit of refusing to allow any sarcasm or hyperbole. He says things like, "Really guys? There were millions of them? Let's not exaggerate, there were *maybe* 5000 eating there with us. Let's not get carried away."

James is painfully quiet. And when you ask him a direct question he seldom answers loudly enough to be heard, and you have to just keep asking until he gets upset enough he yells the answer.

Simon is the conspiracy mongerer. Telling stories about intricate plots being carried out by the Romans to keep the Jews down. Even if some of these are true, there are just so many stories, it becomes hard to listen without an eye-roll.

Finally Judas. Well, he doesn't really need to be characterized.

And there you have it. None of this is probably actually true, but I bet there was disfunction and awkwardness socially amongst each and every one of these guys. They were saved, and they were as close to Jesus as you could get, but that doesn't mean their robes were bleached white, their hair was clean, and none of them ever confused a nose hair for part of their mustache.

They were probably just like us, in more ways than we normally imagine.