Summary: Sending Out The Twelve (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). The Messengers (vs 1-4)

(2). The Assignment (vs 5-6)

(3). The Directives (vs 7-15)



Hold up a can of Coke.

The inventor:

• Coca-Cola is one product that has far outgrown its humble beginnings.

• It was invented by Dr. John Pemberton, a pharmacist in his back yard.

• It was sold as a brain tonic.

• You purchased it not in a bottle or a can but in a three-legged brass kettle.

• The very first Coca-Cola went on sale at Jacobs Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. USA.

The visionary:

• While Robert Woodruff was the president of Coke from 1923 to 1955,

• He had a conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to taste Coke.

• After little more than 100 years, surveys show that:

• 97% of the world has heard of Coca-Cola.

• 72% of the world has seen a can of Coca-Cola.

• 51% of the world has tasted Coca-Cola.

• All due to the fact that the company made a commitment years ago;

• That everyone on the planet would have a taste of their soft drink

• The motto of Coca-Cola, posted in the company's headquarters, said:


• TRANSITION: The sad reality is that Robert Woodruff and the Coca-Cola company;

• Have been more committed to giving every person in the world a drink of Coke;

• Than the Church has been to giving each person in the world a drink of the water of life!

• This passage this morning;

• Should challenge and encourage us all once again;

• About our responsibility to go and share the good news of Jesus Christ!


• Verse 1a:

• “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him”

• Please notice that these are specific instructions to specific people;

• These instructions were given to the twelve disciples/apostles only.

• We know from other references in the gospels that Jesus had many followers.

• i.e. In Luke chapter 10 Jesus sends out 72 disciples on an evangelistic mission.

• i.e. We know to that Jesus also had female disciples (Luke chapter 8 verses 1-3)

But the 12 disciples were different because they were hand-picked by Jesus!

• Many others would choose to follow Jesus;

• But with these 12 Jesus went and found them.

• Interestingly, not one of the chosen 12 disciples was a scholar or rabbi.

• They had no extraordinary skills.

• Neither religious, nor refined, they were ordinary people, just like you and me.

• But Jesus chose them for a purpose;

• Through these 12 men the gospel would spread across the face of the earth;

• And continue spread and develop throughout the centuries to follow.

• So Jesus selected and used a bunch of ordinary men;

• To carry out his exceptional plan


• In verse 2 Matthew describes these disciples by another name.

• He now calls them ‘apostles’ - “These are the names of the twelve apostles”

• Before their sending out the twelve had been mere disciples,

• A disciple is ‘one who learns’.

• But now they are given another name ‘apostle’.

• The word apostle means "one who is sent."

• It seems like this event for the twelve was a kind of graduation,

• When they stepped up from being students to teachers.

• From those who merely watched, to those who would now practice.

Question: Who were the twelve disciples?

Answer: Found in verses 2-4:

“These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”

The names of the 12 disciples are listed 4 times in the gospels:

• Matthew chapter 10 verses 2-4;

• Mark chapter 3 verses 16-19;

• Luke chapter 6 verses 14-16;

• Acts chapter 1 verses 13;

Three things to note from the list:

• (1st). In every list Simon Peter is always listed first;

• And was clearly the natural leader among the disciples.

• (2nd). Judas Iscariot is always listed last;

• No prizes for guessing why.

• (3rd). Concerning three of the disciples:

• James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeaus, and Simon the Zealot;

• All we know about them except their names!

• I find that encouraging;

• That these nobodies to us are and were somebodies to Jesus!

• Their calling to be a disciple, one of the twelve was deliberate;

• And as important to Jesus as the other disciples.

• Jesus called them and they responded!

• We don’t know their particular personalities or ministries;

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