The Apostles whom the Lord chose!!!
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him……… Matthew 10:1-4
In our previous Study, we see Jesus looking at the Multitude that they were like sheep without Shepherd. And He said to His Disciples to Pray that the Lord of the Harvest to send out Labourers into His Harvest. So Here we see Jesus after He had prayed All night(Luke 6:12-12), selected those whom He will send into the Harvest Field. He selected twelve out of the Multitude of Disciples He had and it is interesting to see that they were Disciples before He made them Apostles. Those whom the Lord calls to full time ministry are those who have been learning and following Him to learn from Him. The reason why there is a Lot of confusion in most churches is because those who hold the Leadership positions are not Disciples before they were appointed.
However, what I intended to point out from these verses is the Kind of Men Jesus chose to be His Apostles. When we think about the Lives we lived before we were converted, we may begin to assume that the Lord has no need of us because of our Failures. Even after we were converted, we still failed and dishonored the Lord in many areas of our Lives. So because of this constant Failures and defeat, we may begin to think the Jesus cannot call us for something significant. But Looking at the kinds of Men, Jesus called to be His Apostles, We will discover that If we are Honest about our Failures and repent of it, the Lord can do great things with our lives also as He did with these Apostles. Let us therefore consider the Lives of this twelve Apostles lest we think that God calls only people who never made a mistake in their lives:
(1) Simon Peter: He committed the greatest Sin any man can ever commit. He denied Jesus who has been so Good to Him. Even from a Human standpoint, imagine someone has been so loving and caring to You, and then one day, the Man was in trouble and You were asked if You know Him and publicly You said “I don’t know this Man!!(Matt 26:72) and I don’t want to have anything to do with Him!” So Peter was a kind of person who was ungrateful to someone who has been so good to Him. And not only that, He denied the “Son of God” who formerly He had gotten revelation about(Matt 16:16-17). Yet Jesus says ” Whoever denies Me before Men, him I will deny before My Father who is in Heaven(Matt 10:33). This is the only one Sin that Jesus said will make Him deny a Man in Heaven. So Peter was a Man who had committed a Great Sin worthy of denial in Heaven. But Jesus in His Mercy forgave Peter because He repented of his Sins. And Peter became one of the pillars of the Early Church. On the Day of Pentecost, He was the main speaker and His short sermon brought 3000 souls to Christ (Acts 2:14,41). Are you Like Peter? Have you been ungrateful to someone who have been so good to You? Have You denied the Lord publicly with Your conduct? If only You will repent and come back to Jesus, He can do great things through You.
(2) Andrew: We don’t read much about Andrew in the Bible, but I don’t think He was in any way better than the other Apostles. For He also forsook the Lord and Fled when Jesus was arrested(Matt 26:55). Despite He was the First who went to His Brother Peter saying “We have found the Messiah(John 1:41-42). Yet in times of trials, He lost His convictions and run for His Dear Life. Are You Like that? One time, you were so strong about Your convictions and when trials comes, All you know have no power? Then You are like Andrew!!! And If Jesus could call Andrew, How much more You?
(3&4) James and John, the Sons of Zebedee : These were two brothers who always walk together. And when Jesus saw their character, He gave them a nickname which is “Sons of Thunder!!(Mark 3:17). Why did Jesus gave them this name? It was simply because James and John were brethren who are willing to call down fire on the Samaritans to destroy them because they would not receive them(Luke 9:52-54). James and John were men who desire that something Evil should happen to their enemies and those against them. Also they were very Judgemental. When they saw someone casting out a Demon in Jesus name but did not follow and join their group they were angry(Luke 9:49-50). So we see that James and John are brothers who are filled with thunderous attitude towards people. And to top it up, they were selfish brothers who brought their mother to Jesus to ask for the most preferred seat in Heaven(Matt 20:20-21).As Long as they can get that place, they did not bother about where others will sit . Yet Jesus was able to change these men. Are You a Son or Daughter of Thunder? Do you wish Evil to happen to those who do not accept And follow after You? Then You are Like James and John the “Sons of Daughter”
(5) Philip: This was a young man who followed the Lord immediately He heard the call to Follow and went ahead to tell Nathaniel that they have found the Man whom the Scriptures described Scriptures to them(John 1:43-45). But He was weak in Faith. He was the one that the Lord asked where they were going to buy bread to feed over five thousand people that were following them(John 6:4-7). But instead of depending on the Almighty Power of Jesus Christ, He was thinking of where to get Money. So Philip is a kind of person that is so quick to depend on Man wherever He or she is in need. Also, we see Philip asking Jesus at the Last Supper “Lord show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us(John 14:8)”. And Jesus responded to Him that “Philip, Having been with Me for this Long, yet You have not seen the Father in Me?(John 14:9-10)”. Are you quick to think that Money is the solution to All your problems? Have you been a Christian for Long and Yet You have not come to understanding of the Truth about Jesus Christ? Then You are Like Philip and the Lord does not cast away people like You even if you are weak in Faith.
(6) Bartholomew: We read of nothing about Him. But there are Many who say Bartholomew was the other name of Nathaniel. So let us assume that it is True. So who is Nathaniel? He was a kind of person who will open His mouth and give opinion about People even if it is a bad opinion. Very quick to say something bad about people but never see good to appreciate in them. When He was told that they have found the Messiah and that He was from Nazareth, He replied “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?!!!(John 1:46)” So Nathaniel was a kind of person who despise and look down on people from other city, race or town. Yet the Lord picked a Man like this and gave Him a wonderful commendation “Behold a Man in whom there is no deceit(John 1:47). Are You so Rude in Your speech? Do you Look at people and see nothing good in them? Then You are Like Nathaniel and the Lord can pick you up and transform You into a great Apostle.
(7) Thomas: He was a reasoning guy who says ” “I will not believe until I have seen with my eyes(John 20:25). The other Disciples told Him that they have seen the risen Lord, but He refused to believe. So Thomas is a kind of person who questions everything people say to Him about Jesus. So Don’t think Jesus will reject You for always questioning things. In fact, Jesus made a special appearance again just for the sake of Thomas and when he finally saw Jesus, he made an amazing confession that None of the other Disciples made, He said to Jesus, “My Lord and My God!!!(John 20:26-28). Are you Like Thomas? Do you question Everything written in the Bible? Do You question everything you are told about the Christian Faith? Then there is Hope for You Just Like Thomas, the Lord can make special appearance just for your sake.
(8) Matthew: He was a tax collector. And Tax collectors were the greatest crook in the time of Jesus. In fact whenever they want to speak about a Sinner, they call Him a tax collector(Luke 19:2-7). Because the tax collector were cheating people and robbing others of their money. Imagine the amount of money Matthew must have made crookedly over the Years!!! Are you like that, have you cheated others? Do you know you can become an Apostle if only you would repent and turn to the Lord? Jesus was able to see something in Matthew that there was a Desire in Him to be free from all these cheating attitude and to become an Honest person. So while He was sitting at the Tax office, Jesus called Him and He immediately Followed as if He was saying “Thank you Lord, I am sick and tired of cheating people. Thank You for calling Me!!” And I believe He gave back what He cheated from others Just like Zacchaeus did. Though it is not written, but I believe it. And God was able to use a Man who was formerly a crook to Write Gospel of Matthew. So there is Hope for You, even if You have cheated others of their money as Long as You repent Like Matthew.
(9 & 10)James the Son of Alphaeus and Lebbaeus Thaddaeus(Judas the Son of James):These are two Disciples in whom nothing was written about. I didn’t read a single incident about them. This also teaches us something. Imagine You are a Brother or sister in the church who is doing something secretly for the Lord Like sweeping the floor and washing the Toilet. These are wonderful Brothers who were not disturbed that the things they did for the Lord were not written. They were Happy that it should be left in secret. Are you one of those who did something for the Lord and was disturbed because Your name was not mentioned so that others could clap for You and appreciate You? Think of James the Son of Alphaeus. I wish we have more Brothers and Sisters like this who are quite Happy that nothing was written about them now, but would one day be revealed when Jesus comes. Honestly, I am going to Clap for these brothers, when I meet them in Heaven. Wonderful Brothers!!
(11) Simon the Cananite: He is also known as Simon the Zealot(Luke 6:15). There was a group called Zealot in Israel during this time and their mission was to fight the Romans who were ruling over the land of Israel. So the Zealot were like the terrorists group of this day who are fighting for freedom. And Simon was a member of that group. Would You have selected a member of a terrorist group to be a Disciple? Yet Jesus prayed All night and selected Him. Jesus selects people from different kinds of background because He saw something in them. Are you a terrorist? There is hope for You as long as You are sick and tried of that condition.
12) Judas Iscariot: He was a wonderful brother in the beginning when Jesus called Him but be became a Traitor(Luke 6:15). Jesus did not chose Him just to fulfill prophecy, but He gave Himself away to the Devil. It could have been Peter, James or John. But He was the one who gave the Devil a chance because He was so clever in His Hypocrisy. Judas was a very smart guy. He was living together with the other Disciples for over three years and stealing their money and Yet they never suspected. Even when Jesus said to them all that “One of You is going to betray Me”, none of them suspected Judas. Indeed He was a clever crook!!! Though the Lord warned Him that it is better such a Person is not born, Yet He cast away the warnings. Despite Jesus washed His feet and gave Him a special bread, Yet He did not repent. Indeed, the Love of Money is the Root of All Evil. This is a warning to everyone of Us. That it is possible to Walk, eat and listen to Jesus and still end up Like Judas because of Love of Money and Hypocrisy!!!
Dear Friend, God Loves Honest People!!! Even if you have failed God in many areas, even if have dishonored Him in many ways. Remember the kind of Apostles the Lord chose. They were not perfect men. They all have their Failures, but they were sincere and honest about it. They repented and God was able to accomplish great things through them. Today He says to You, “Come Let us reason together”. Don’t be too clever in your eyes and don’t continue in Hypocrisy lest You end like Judas Iscariot. May the Great Grace of God keeps us from falling. (Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus