Summary: What is best remembered about each disciple?
A. THE CONVERSION AND CALL OF MATTHEW (MATTHEW 9:9-13).
1. The oldest disciple – because of the financial rewards, the position came late in life.
2. He was considered the most outrageous of sinners.
a. They collaborated with Rome.
b. They inflated the taxes.
c. They used soldiers to enforce their demands.
d. They were ostracized by fellow Jews.
3. Mathew had superior ability.
a. Business knowledge.
b. Political negotiations.
c. Fluent in Greek, Latin, Hebrew and Aramaic.
4. He made an immediate and knowledgeable decision. Jesus said simply, “Follow Me” (Matt. 9:9). “You don’t have the power to obey until you have made the decision to obey.”
5. Jesus was criticized for attending a banquet given by Matthew. “Those who are well have no need of a physician” (Matt. 9:12).
6. His decision became the basis for Zacchaeus’ conversion, i.e., chief tax collector.
B. JESUS COMMISSIONS TWELVE DISCIPLES
1. His preparation – a night of praying (Mark 3:14).
2. The job description – “that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14).
3. Our application – We must have vision. “When Jesus saw the multitudes…” (Matt. 9:36). We must have compassion. “He was moved with compassion” (Matt. 9:36). We must pray. “Pray the Lord of the harvest that He will send out laborers” (Matt. 9:38).
4. Many were following Jesus, i.e., disciples (literally a learner or follower).
5. The foundational office. These twelve established the church on Christ. “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20).
6. The apostolic authority. “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, insight and wonders and mighty deeds” (2 Cor. 12:12). They had sign gifts to validate their message and wrote the scriptures by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
7. What is best remembered about each disciple?
a. Peter – primary spokesman
b. Andrew – first called – brought people to Jesus
c. John – youngest – love
d. James – silent – first martyr
e. Philip – analytical – always fifth
f. Nathaniel – sincere – royal background
g. Matthew – tax collector
h. Thomas – twin – doubter
i. James the less – over final four – small/short
j. Simon the zealot – revolutionary – patriot
k. Judas-Thaddaeus-Lebbaeus – three names
l. Judas Iscariot – betrayer
8. Jesus called twelve apostles each different in preparation and ability. Each contributed to a different strength to minister. They reflected future church.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
All PBC lessons are available online at trbc.org/pbc. Go to www.Hopenow.tv for the current program schedule.
Dr. Towns' email is ELTowns@liberty.edu
Dr. Towns’ web address is www.elmertowns.com