Summary: "Meet the Apostles"--unique message presented in first person. Each one was different, but each was used to make a difference! Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Template.
Different Men Who Made a Difference
[To be delivered in 1st person, direct address]
Hey you twelve. What a motley crew you were. Not the “Dirty Dozen” necessarily. Just ordinary people. Nothing special. Twelve different men you were…but Jesus chose you to make all the difference in the world.
Andrew, are you here?
You must be somewhere in this crowd? I know you can’t really hear me, but you are represented by some who gather in God’s house today. I just want to thank you for the fine example you set for the rest of us…
I read in the Bible how you were the first disciple that Jesus chose! That must’ve been something, esp. since you grew up in the shadow of your big brother, Peter.
“Peter this, Peter that.” But then Jesus chose you first.
And you went and told your brother how to be saved. As a matter of fact, every time you’re mentioned in the Bible you’re bringing someone to Jesus.
You wrote no epistles, preached no great sermons with thousands saved, but you brought one to Jesus who would do all those things!
You learned to get beautiful music out of playing 2nd fiddle!
The Lord is the Master Potter—He formed you and changed you and made you different…and then used you to make a difference! Jesus took your burden, and gave you a new burden…a burden for souls!
Andrew, where are you? There are people waiting to meet your Jesus!
Philip, are you here?
You are the practical man. You made an alliterated outline for all your notes in college. You were so factual--so logical. Everything had to be 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C with military precision. You were the “Roger Priestley” of ancient Israel!
You had heard about this Jesus--but you wouldn’t come to Him. You heard tell of the mystical stories of healings and miracles…but Jesus had to come to you. You spent time with Jesus and He proved Himself to you.
When your friend scoffed and said, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” You replied matter-of-factly, “Come and see.”
You loyally followed Jesus and helped others to see the simple fact that He was indeed the Messiah. The Ethiopian eunuch was confused…but you set him straight!
Philip, Jesus took you, a practical man, but also a lost practical man, and removed your burden of sin. Jesus replaced that burden with a burden for the lost. The Lord took His skilled hand and molded and made you different…and then used you to make a difference!
Philip, are you out there? There are people waiting to hear the practical truth of the gospel!
Bartholomew, are you here?
Don’t be shy or embarrassed by this big crowd.
Let’s be honest, Bartholomew, or should I call you Nathaniel, Oh, ok, Bart, that’s easier! Let’s be honest, you were sort of the “absent-minded professor” of the apostles, weren’t you? You were in your own world most of the time. A visionary, they called you.
Sandals unlatched, hair disheveled. You didn’t care. They said this about you: “The light is on, but I’m not sure if anybody is home.”
They didn’t know the real you, did they. You thought big. You dreamed dreams like Joseph of the OT. You were an introvert. But that’s no problem. The kingdom of God is not dependant upon enthusiastic extroverts.
You wouldn’t be picked for the “Who’s Who” listing in your yearbook, but Jesus picked you to be His disciple. Most would have said that was a mistake, but Jesus knew what He was doing.
When Jesus first saw you from a distance He said, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile” (prejudice)
You must’ve felt convicted since it was you who had just whispered to Philip, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
Jesus saw your strength as a visionary and not your weakness as an opinionated, prejudiced man. (What was it that Jesus said, oh yeah, “I saw you under the fig tree, before Philip called you to me.”)
He saved your soul and changed you. The Lord placed you on His Potter’s wheel and made you different…and then used you to make a difference! He took your burdens and gave you a new burden for souls. He took your empty, meaningless visions and replaced them with greater vision for the lost.
Bartholomew, are you in the crowd today? Catch a vision for the lost!
Matthew, are you here?
It’s hard to believe you used to be the despised tax-collector. Money used to mean everything to you. And you were hated by all.
They all knew you took a cut above what they really owed in taxes. You could feel the heat of their stares and you just knew they were always talking about you behind your back. A crowd of people would suddenly end their conversation as you entered a room, but that was alright, you were rich and that’s all that mattered.