The Apostles of Jesus- His Hand-Picked Team Apostles- Sent Ones. Average age believed to range from late teens to early 30s The Lord has called many throughout time to be His special people. Moses---Noah---Abraham---Elijah---The Apostles Mark 3:16-19- He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mathew and Luke and also Acts (written by Luke) record lists also. Not much detail given about some of them, but the particular grouping of them mirrors Christians today in the Lords church. Vastly different in many ways, but ONE in Christ and under His rule and Authority.
Parallel Accounts Of Calling Of The 12 Matthews account of calling------ Simon Peter---Andrew---James, son of Zebedee---John---Philip---Bartholomew---Thomas---Matthew-----James, son of Alphaeus---Lebbaeus or Thaddeus----Simon the Canaanite---Judas Iscariot Lukes account of their calling- Simon Peter------Andrew-----James---John--Philip----Bartholomew----Matthew-----Thomas----James----Simon----Judas---Judas Iscariot Acts Account: Peter----James----John----Andrew----Phillip---Thomas--Bartholomew---Matthew---James----Simon----Judas----Matthias Peter is always first, Judas always last. Peter- the man of rock Andrew- peters brother James and John sons of Zebedee and sons of thunder Identity Marks Of The 12 Philip- the earnest inquirer Bartholomew- the guileless Israelite Thomas- the man of sight
Matthew- the publican (as he called himself) James, son of Alphaeus- The less (Mark 15:40) Lebbaeus, Thaddeus or Judas of James- the 3 named disciple Simon- the zealot Judas- the traitor Who Would Pick For The Task They Had If in a job interview today they would all fail in many ways. They lacked Background, Aptitude, Experience and Education to qualify, by our standards, to do what the Lord had in mind for them to do. Peter could be said to be unstable- James and John- Selfish, putting own interests above the rest---Thomas- Skeptical-Andrew- having no leadership abilityMatthew- not a good mix with others (publican)Simon Zelotes- too radical and unpredictable but perhaps Judas would qualify by our standards, He had contacts in high places, He was ambitious, a planner, and an ability to carry out those
plans? Would he be our man if we were hiring? Would we dismiss the others? Judas shows us how close a person can be to Christ and yet how far away in reality. Peter shows us what a mess a person can make- but yet under Christs control and authority- what a rock a person can come to be if he will submit to the Master. Their Purpose To Be With Him- Companions To Learn From Him- Students To Be For Him- Faithful stewards and servants of the Master To Stand By Him- Loyalty to Him To Bear Witness Of Him to Others-Their task for the rest of their lives Some Parallels for us today. Acts 3:13- Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and Joh, and perceived they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them,
that they had been with Jesus. Can people tell today that we have been with Jesus? John 17:6-19- Prayer to God for Apostles- READ John 17:20-23- oneness for all who are His- that the world may know You sent Me. Why These Were Called By Him? Not because of what they were- but what they could be under His hand. For instance, To Peter Jesus Said: John 1:42- You are Simon the son of Jona: you shall be called Cephasa stone John 2:24,25- Jesus knew all men and needed not for anyone to testify of man, for He knew what was in man. He knew all men through His omniscient eyes. He chose peasants from villages, provincial townsmen, and fishermen as His first disciples. They were respectable men morally, and had a religious inclination. But there was nothing extraordinary about them that would lend one to think them up to the job
that they were to carry out. However, the whole world came to know what Christ made them into. 12 of the strongest, noblest, most brave and submissive men to have appeared in all of history (except for Judas). I Will MAKE You Fishers Of Men It is not what we are when we become Christians but what we can become by continued Obedience to His will. He said to the apostles- follow Me and I will make you fishers of men. There are no self-made Christians- we are all Christ- made. Matt.11:29- they followed Him daily and learned of Him and from Him. As they grew in faith and knowledge they became more fitted to represent Him to others. Mark 3:13- Christ calls to Him whom He would. He knew what was before Him and knew also the kind of men He needed with
Him. He needed trustworthy witnesses of the entirety of His death, burial and resurrection and ascension. John 17:6-19-Prayer For the Apostles I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.13 But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world,
that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. John 17:20-26-Prayer For All Christians 20 I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they
may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. Christ- The Common Uniter Of Men Let us also note that only Jesus Himself can bring unity to such a diverse body. The Twelve all came from different social backgrounds Represented diametrically opposed philosophical and political viewpoints. Matthew the tax collector was content enough with Roman rule to represent the government in an official capacity.
Simon the Zealot was a member of a group that sought the expulsion of the Romans and the regaining of Jewish independence. Presumably, Simon left this movement when he joined the Twelve The key fact here is that Jesus brought together into one body two men who could not have disagreed more politically, at least when Jesus called them initially. Nothing but the effective call of the Messiah and common faith in the Savior could bring such people together. The same is true today. Jesus alone can unite people of varying backgrounds and who hold varying opinions into one body in service to the Creator. Diverse But United- Lesson For The Church Diversity without unity leads to infighting and civil war. Scripture does call Gods people to embrace diversity, but it is a diversity that is unified in the common bond we have in Jesus. We put self to death (Gal.2:20-I have
been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Lk. 9:23; Matt. 16:24-if any would follow Me- let him deny self, take up his cross and follow Me..). People from every background are welcome in the churchprovided they are obedient the Lords commands. Only in Christ can unity exist in His church. 12 men who worked collectively for the glorifying of Christ not self. Individually they were very different, but collectively they put aside self and extolled the Lord. Petty differences meant nothing to them as compared to what Christ was making of them and all who obeyed Him. THE SAME IS TRUE OF US TODAY> Jesus Prayed For Them Often He made His choices after a night of prayer. Luke 6:12,130 He went out into the mountains to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he
called unto him his disciples and of them he chose 12 who he also named apostles. He prayed for them often See John 15:16-19- he prayed for them to be separate from the world. And bring forth fruit. John 17:6,12- Thine they were and thou gave them to menone of them is lost, but the son of perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled. Judass betrayal was not an error on the part of the Lord in choosing Him. It was all comprehended in the Divine will and endorsement of an age-long prophecy (Zech. 11:12,13-and I said unto them, if ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear: so they weighed for my price, 30 pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, cast it unto the potter, a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the 30 pieces and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord). Not Clones But United In Christ-In Spite Of Differences These men had markedly different degree of difference, various tempers and dispositions. They were not 12 carbon copies of one another- not one of them
reminds us of the other. Peter was forward, assertive and brash- he acted before he thought. Andrew was in the background but without him we may not have Peter- He told Peter of Jesus. James was-volcanic Philip was cautious. Some were more prone to lead- others not as visible but leaders still. They were all different as we are all different. What a monotonous world it would be if we were all exactly alike in every aspect. It is our differences in culture, training, background and personality that makes the gospel message so remarkable as it is viewed from our individual prisms- yet with certain unity and the same truth. He Who Humbles Himself Shall Be Exalted Christ calls all- red, yellow, black white, all religions, etc. there is room for all who will submit themselves to his will.
All 12 are called Galileans Peters for his accent (Mk. 14:70 Acts 1:11; 2:7 are not all who speak Galileans. Galilee as a province was looked at by the people of Jerusalem and Judea as old-fashioned, unpolished, unprovincial people. Country bumpkins if you please. A Jew of Judea would look down his nose at the more country, and less sophisticated Galileans. The city Judeans were more proud in heart and more strict on their traditions and the law, as they saw it, than those of Galilee. But Jesus chose those with less pride to appeal to those with an abundance of pride. Jesus chose who gave it all up to preach and teach to those who were unwilling to give anything up. He chose those who had emptied themselves of themselves, to preach to those who were full of themselves. He chose the humble to preach to the proud the bold message of selfless service. Jesus Calls Us Through The Gospel
Will we heed His call? Many are called and invited- Few are chosen Matt. 22:14- not all will truly respond to the invitation of the bridegroom. All will hear but few will heed. Some may even try to come but will be rejected because they have not made adequate preparation (they are not covered by the blood of Christ). You must come to Christ His way, not yours). 2 Thess. 2:13-17 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
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