One of the Things that Impresses Me about Jesus is His Men.
- Peter and Andrew were brothers. Peter, who famously denied Christ and Andrew who introduced him to Jesus.
- John and James were brothers too, and they were two guys with problem tempers. Jesus gave them knick names, “‘the sons of thunder.”
- Thomas is guilless and brutally honest.
- Philip and Barthalemew are nearly absent from the gospel narratives except in the list of apostles.
- Matthew was a tax collector. That couldn’t have been an easy pill for the other disciples to swallow!
- James is simply the son of Alphaeus, suggesting that maybe his father was more impressive than the son.
- Simon the Zealot was . . . well, a Zealot, suggesting that he was probably considered a terrorist by the Romans.
- Thaddaeus or the “other Judas” (according to Luke 6:16) is almost unknown.
- Judas Iscariot, well, we know what a disappointment he was.
- Matthais and Paul, the johnny-come-latelies
A Zealot, a tax-collector, two sets of brothers, a bunch of fisherman and one Pharisee. That’s the list of Jesus’s boys.
No government officials,
No one of any prominence, except for Paul maybe.
Blue-collar guys one and all.
They were ordinary men who God used in extraordinary ways.
And they learned to obey.
They spent time with Jesus, watched Him do what He did, believed in Him and followed.
And after, the resurrection, and the giving of the Holy Spirit, they turned the world upside down for Jesus.
Let’s go be remarkable too.
We can spend time with Jesus too. In part, that’s why the gospels were recorded. We can watch Him do what He did. We have front-row seats in the pages of His word. We can be taught by Jesus and we have an advantage. We have the Spirit of God to lead us into all truth (John 14:26 and 16:13) and empower us for living. They didn’t have the Spirit until pentecost but we have had the Spirit of God since we first believed. Let me give you an idea for the beginning of the adventure.
If you want a window into how Jesus operated open your Bible to the 10 chapter of Luke’s gospel. Here’s an outline of what you will find.
- Go with Others. (10:1-2) Jesus sent 36 teams of two out to do what they had seen Him do. Each of us needs the support, encouragement, prayer, companionship, and accountability of others. Discipleship is not a solitary activity. It is a communal activity. Don’t go it alone. You don’t have a better idea than Jesus. Get over yourself. Humble yourself and accept the pattern of Jesus.
- Go with Sober Wisdom. (10:3) Being a follower of Jesus has never been a walk in the park. Check out John 13:16 and 15:20-23. And while you are at it, take a look at the sermon on the mount in Matthew 5:10-12. The Apostle Paul understood this. See 2 Timothy 3:12. It’s time to recognize that it is time to put on your big boy pants men. Jesus is looking for marines of the Spirit.
- Travel Lite. (10:4) The task of taking the gospel to the world is urgent. Jesus wants us to depend on HIM, not our resources. He wants us to obey and trust. We don’t sing it much in our churches anymore but its truth hasn’t gone become irrelevant. “There is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”
- Give Honor and Respect to Everyone. (10:5-6)
- Take Only What is Given Freely without Asking. (10:7-8) Be thankful for little as well as you are for much. .
- Get Rooted in People’s Lives. (10:7) Stay involved with the people who show interest in the gospel truth. Don’t be a hit and run artist.
- Be Involved and Concerned with the Whole Person. (10:9) Heal the sick. Tell the gospel. Call people to believe.
- Direct All Attention to God and His Kingdom. (10:9) . The Spirit is always pointing to Jesus. Jesus is always pointign to Himself and the Kingdom. The Father is always point to the Son. We need to follow the same example.
- Be Bold in Declaring the Truth. (10:10-12) Never leave a witnessing opportunity with your tail between your legs! Declare the truth with boldness and grace and leave the results to God. Understand how important this is—-look at verse 10:16!
Ordinary men have been used to do extraordinary things simply by following Jesus. Let’s follow as closely as we can.