Jesus calls those whose hearts are ripe for melted and molded. He calls, He appoints, He empowers them and He changes them.
Look at verse 13... Now I think we need to understand that the disciples were Plain, ordinary men…called by Jesus.
I really want you to see three things about what happened.
1. v. 13 The Call: I want us to see three things in this verse.
1. Only a few were called: Jesus didn’t call the crowd.
Jesus calls those out of the crowd, who show more interest and more commitment. Those who show a willingness to change.
He notices those... who listen with more attention… who are more awake and alert… who respond with a motivated or excited heart.
Jesus will use those who show more connection to Him after the crowds have gone. In other words when no one is looking…
He is looking for those who want to serve God with meaning and purpose. He is not looking for “clock watchers” …
**Jesus does not look at the importance of people, or at their appearance, not even at their ability and education.
Jesus looks at the heart of the people. When He sees a person listening, motivated and wanting to serve, He calls that person.
2. Jesus "called them” They did not choose Him, but He chose them.
He does not call those whom the world sees as more fit and educated. He calls those whose hearts are right and
responsive. Those He can use, regardless of what the world thinks.
3. The disciples "came to Him:
The Greek translation means "they went away unto Him." This is the idea that they left, forsook, their former work and undertook the new work assigned by Jesus.
When Jesus calls you…He calls you to a new life. This means that we must forsake the old life…our former things for a relationship with Jesus that is real and personal.
Too often, these days, what we find are many who want Jesus but are unwilling to let go of the “old man” BUT that’s not it works…
Lk.9:23-26 “23Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
24For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.
25For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
26For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”
2. vv14-15 Jesus Appoints
Jesus appoints us for four specific purposes
1. We’re appointed to be with Jesus.
This is the first lesson we need to learn: God wants a personal relationship and devotion before everything else.
According to ls.43:1O God willed men to "know Him, believe Him and understand Him" above all else.
“10“You are My witnesses,” says the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.”
We are to live in Jesus' presence, daily learning from Him and drawing our spiritual nourishment and strength from Him.
Ph. 3: 8-10 “8Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,”
2. We are appointed to be sent NOT to be seated.
We are to be His ambassadors, His representatives who move out into the world for the soul purpose of representing Him in our own little piece of the world
2Cor.5:20 “20Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.”
3. We are appointed to be the messengers of Jesus Christ.
He has a message for the world, and you and I are to proclaim His message to the world
Mt.10:7 “7And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ ”
Mk.16:15 “15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
4. We are appointed to receive power.
The word here is not dunamis, which is the supernatural power of God. The word here is exousia a delegated power or authority, to minister and to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons or put another way the enemy’s control over others…
Lk.10:19-20 “19Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
20Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
“Oh…well pastor, that was for those disciples back then.” That maybe true BUT you and I have been called and appointed to receive that same power…
3. vv16-19 Jesus Changes:
This change is not automatic. See the truth is that none of us will ever change until and unless we are willing to be changed.
Think about this. There was one who was not willing to be changed… Judas Iscariot. Jesus called them all, but only the ones willing to be changed were changed.
*There are people who have been saved for 40+ years and have never allowed God to change them and they have never experienced the power that is available for them.
2 Cor.5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
In verses 16-19 We see the names of those called. I believe there is more to this list than a simple list of names. We need to look at each to see the man, before and after.
Simon-- was his name before Jesus called him Peter (Greek. petros, meaning a stone or a piece of rock.)
*Peter was a rough fisherman. He looked, acted, and spoke like a fisherman.
*Peter was prideful and presumptuous, a man who thought he knew best and who sometimes lorded it over others. He was always depending on his own human wisdom and strength.
*Peter thought he knew what was best for Jesus, insisting that Jesus did not have to die and he even tried to prevent Jesus' arrest by drawing his sword and wounding one of the arresting party
*Peter rebuked Jesus, overstepping the limits of his rights. When the crowd thronged Jesus, Jesus simply asked who had touched Him. Peter rebuked Jesus for asking such a question when there
were so many people pressing in upon them (Lk.8:45).
*Peter, in selfish pride, refused to let Jesus wash his feet (Jn.13:6-11).
*He was slow to learn and to understand truth, self-seeking, disbelieving, overbearing, even to the point of telling Jesus what to do.
*Peter was weak. He also was the only disciple to verbally deny Jesus.
Look how he responds in Mth. 26:“74Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!””
This is the same man who said, when Jesus asked the question, “But who do you say that I am?” in Mth. 16: “16Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.””
BUT Peter was changed dramatically after Jesus' resurrection and after Pentecost. The presence of the living Lord in his
life empowered him. Peter was able to take charge of the frightened band of disciples and lead them to fearlessly
proclaim the glorious news of the risen Savior.
James and John were brothers. They were the sons of Zebedee, a prosperous fisherman.
James and John were known for their hot tempers, so much so that Jesus called them the sons of thunder. Yes this is the same John that wrote the book of John…which gives solid testimony to a changed life.
The two brothers were also gripped by worldly ambition and wanted the highest offices in the coming kingdom of
**Jesus dramatically changed the two men. Jesus changed their hot tempers into a burning zeal and ambition for God. They became two of the greatest witnesses for God ever known. James became the first of the twelve to be martyred; and John was the longest living disciple, becoming one of the greatest literary giants of all time writing “The Gospel of John,” The “1st, 2nd and 3rd John,” and “The Book of Revelation.”
Andrew was apparently the first disciple of Jesus. He had been a disciple of John the Baptist.
However, when John pointed out that Jesus was the Messiah, Andrew requested an interview with Jesus.
From that point on he was convinced that Jesus was the true Messiah.
Andrew was always helping people.
Tradition says Andrew preached in Jerusalem and was crucified for preaching against idolatry. He was hung on a
cross in the shape of an X.
Philip did not seek Jesus, but Jesus sought Philip. Because of this we believe that Philip was slow in responding and believing, and he almost missed the opportunity to become an apostle of Jesus.
In fact, being slow to respond and fearing to act seem to be the major weaknesses of Philip. He actually did miss the opportunity to demonstrate great faith when Jesus tested his faith in feeding the multitude.
He was also slow in understanding who Jesus was.
His faith and willingness to act were in constant need of being stirred and strengthened.
YET Jesus changed him and made him a man of strong faith. This is seen in that he stood fast and fearless even in the face of martyrdom. Tradition tells us that he died as a martyr at Hierapolis.
Little is known about Bartholomew.
Matthew was a tax collector, an outcast of society, a traitor to the Jewish people. He felt the alienation and
rejection ever so deeply.
YET Jesus changed His life, and met every need of his heart
Thomas, meaning the twin, was a man of courage and loyalty.
This is seen in his suggestion that the disciples follow Jesus even if it meant death, in John 11:8, 16.
But he was also a skeptic, a pessimist, a doubter. He was slow to understand that Jesus was the Messiah and he rejected the testimony of others that Jesus had actually risen from the dead.
BUT the resurrection of Jesus changed Thomas, completely.
He has given to the world one of the strongest testimonies possible, In John 20:28 “And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!””
Tradition says that Thomas went to India, carrying the gospel to that continent and died a martyr's death.
Little is known about this James. We do know that his father’s name was Alphaeus and his mother was one of the women who stood by the cross and visited the tomb. We also know that Matthew’s father was also named Alphaeus and some believe he and James were brothers. He never abandoned the disciples and was present when Jesus appeared after His resurrection.
Little is known about Thaddaeus. His name, Thaddaeus, means one that praises, or man of heart.
Simon the cananite or the Zealot: was a member of the fanatical Jewish party known as the Zealots. The party held that God alone was to be the Ruler and Lord of the Jewish nation. They hated and bitterly opposed all foreign domination. They despised the fact that Rome was in control of the nation of Israel.
They preached and led revolutionary uprisings against the government when they could get a group together.
And here once again the power of Jesus to change a man's heart is seen in Simon the Zealot. Simon's fanatical devotion turned him into a Zealot for Jesus.
Jesus never changed the description of his fanatical nature. Even after his conversion and call, he still wanted his zeal to be known. He still wanted to be known as Simon the Zealot, one who was totally devoted to Jesus Christ, the true Messiah.
Judas Iscariot, whose name is always mentioned last in every list of the disciples, is a prime example of the truth that not everyone who follows Jesus, knows Him in a personal way.
Very simply, Judas was unwilling to have his heart and life changed by Jesus.
Someone asked why Jesus chose Judas in the first place. The best answer I can give you is that Jesus was heading for the cross and He knew Judas would get Him there…
12 men called by Jesus…11 were willing to be changed…Are you willing today? Or do you want to stay just like you are?
Jesus is calling you today to be with Him…to learn form Him…to be changed by Him…to be empowered by Him and to serve Him…Judas never answered the call…Will you answer His call today?