Summary: Second sermon in series. It looks at the way God uses simple, ordinary people to do his will.
Are you Smarter than a Disciple?
Luke 6:12-16, 9:1-6
Please turn to Luke 6:12-16
We are continuing our series this morning entitled, “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” Today, we are asking the question, “Are you smarter than a disciple?” And I’ve got to tell you, it doesn’t take much. While they became men of courage and faith and conviction, they didn’t start out that way. What we see is a collection of ordinary guys who struggled with faith and hope and loyalty. They weren’t the cream of the crop, they were common men with faults and failures.
John McArthur wrote a book called “12 Ordinary Men”. He starts it with these words: “If you were going to recruit a team to alter the course of history, how would you begin? Jesus began with a walk by the lake. "Follow Me." The Master told them. And they did. Thus began His uncommon mission with twelve most common individuals: men who would become Christ’s very first disciples. Have you ever considered who Jesus didn’t choose for His inner circle? He didn’t select a rabbi. He didn’t recruit scholars. He didn’t look within the religious establishment to build His team. Any of these would have given Him an inside track with those in power. Instead. he assembled a ragtag bunch of folks with unimpressive resumes. Jesus wasn’t looking for religious superiority or extraordinary talent. Jesus wanted ordinary people-people with hopes and dreams of their own, but people who were willing to leave their lives behind to follow the savior. People like you.”
These were men that we would not choose if we were assembling a leadership team, and yet God saw something in them. And what I want us to do today is look at the call of the Disciples in Luke chapter 6 and the point I want to get across is that when you think you don’t have much to offer, be encouraged that you don’t have to be any smarter than the disciples he chose. You don’t have to have more talent, more fame, more intelligence or even more faith. You just have to be willing to answer when he calls.
Let’s go ahead a read out text. Luke chapter 6:12-16: One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Now, there are some things we can learn about the call of God in looking at this team that Jesus assembled.
THE FIRST THING WE SEE IS THAT GOD CAN USE ANYONE!
Jesus spent time carefully considering who he would choose, and he intentionally chose a diverse group of guys. And this wasn’t a haphazard drawing of lots to see who would be in the group. It says in that first phrase that Christ spent the entire night in prayer before he assembled this group.
I think there’s a lesson here. Jesus always set an example for us and he reminds us that if you’ve got major decisions that are on your schedule, if you’ve got big plans and big thoughts and big decisions, then give major amounts of time in prayer. If God’s Son did it, we should do it as well.
ILLUS - I had a family in my church in Kentucky, and the thing that stood out to me about them was prayer. Whatever decision they were faced with, they would always say, “We’re going to take three days of prayer. We are going to pray for three days and allow God the opportunity to answer.” I like that.
Now, after spending time in prayer, Jesus chose twelve guys to be his disciples, and each of them had unique characteristics. Not exceptional characteristics, just unique characteristics.
Simon, named Peter, is mentioned first in each of the lists. It’s not by accident. Of all these guys, Peter was the born leader. He was vocal and opinionated, sometimes quick to speak, but never shy about his stance. That’s why Christ had him preach the first gospel message at Pentecost.
Contrast him with Andrew, his brother. Andrew was humble and meek, but very evangelistic at the same time. Outside of the listings, Andrew is only mentioned three other times in all the gospels, but every time we see Andrew he is always bringing someone to Jesus. That would be a good thing to be known for. He was also very humble. At the beginning it was Peter, Andrew, James and John. But soon it became Peter, James & John who were the inner circle. We don’t see animosity or bitterness from Andrew, just faithful service.