Summary: Greatest wager of all time: JESUS risked the future destiny of all mankind on 12 men! He’s still gambling...on us!

The Gambler

Mark 3:13-19

Mark 3:13-19

13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.

14 He appointed twelve-- designating them apostles-- that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach

15 and to have authority to drive out demons.

16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);

17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);

18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot

19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.


Who was the Greatest GAMBLER to ever place a bet?


Greatest wager of all time:

JESUS risked the future destiny

of all mankind on 12 men!

What did Jesus call these men to do?

Mark 3:14-15

14 He appointed twelve-- designating them apostles-- that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach

15 and to have authority to drive out demons.





Look at the men Jesus bet on:

Simon Peter - UNEDUCATED



Andrew learned to get beautiful music out of playing 2nd fiddle!


Nathaniel Bartholomew - QUESTIONING

He was so factual--so logical. He had heard about this Jesus--but he wouldn’t come to Him. He heard tell of the mystical stories of healings and miracles…but Jesus had to come to Nathaniel.


Simon the Zealot – HATED ROME

Jesus chose Matthew, the Tax Collector, the self-centered money-lover, working for the Roman government, and Simon the Zealot, a political fanatic, who breathed bitterness toward everything Roman. Two complete opposites, two men committed to totally different political views. Can you imagine what life was like as these two travelled together?

Thomas - DOUBTED

James & Thaddeus - UNINFLUENTIAL

Judas Iscariot - TRAITOR

Would you stake YOUR salvation on them?

Acts 17:6

"These who have turned the world upside down have come here too”.


Jesus bet on them because they had committed themselves to follow him.

A few centuries before Christ, Alexander the Great conquered almost all of the known world with his military strength, cleverness, and diplomacy. One day Alexander and a small company of soldiers approached a strongly defended, walled city. Alexander, standing outside the walls, raised his voice, demanding to see the king. The king, approaching the battlements above the invading army, agreed to hear Alexander’s demands.

“Surrender to me immediately,” commanded Alexander.

The king laughed. “Why should I surrender to you?” he called down. “We have you far outnumbered. You are no threat to us!”

Alexander was ready to answer the challenge. “Allow me to demonstrate why you should surrender,” he replied. Alexander ordered his men to line up single file and start marching. He marched them straight toward a sheer cliff that dropped hundreds of feet to rocks below.

The king and his soldiers watched in shocked disbelief as, one by one, Alexander’s soldiers marched without hesitation right off the cliff to their deaths. After ten soldiers had died, Alexander ordered the rest of his men to stop and to return to his side.

The king and his soldiers surrendered on the spot to Alexander the Great.

How committed are we?

Behold, a team went forth to play a game of baseball.

Just as the umpire was saying, “Batter up,” the catcher for the home team arrived and took his place behind the plate. The center fielder didn’t show up at all but sent his regrets. The third baseman likewise failed to come to the game, having been up late the night before. The shortstop was present, but left his glove at home. Two of the substitute fielders were away on a weekend trip but said they were there in spirit.

The pitcher went to the mound and looked around for his teammates. But his heart was heavy, for their positions were empty. The game was announced, the visitors were in the stands, and there was nothing to do but pitch the ball and hope for the best. But in addition to pitching, he had to cover first and third base, as well as short and center field.

When the absent players heard that their team had lost, they were very upset. They held a meeting and decided to get a new pitcher.

Like a baseball team, the church can’t survive without everyone pulling their weight. The pitcher—the pastor—is important, but unless everyone else shows up and fields their position or gets a hit, the game will be lost.

The Bible never makes a distinction between professional ministers (clergy) and “ordinary Christians” (laity). Instead, everyone is a minister, each having different gifts and abilities. A baseball team can’t win with players who don’t play. Nor can a church with ministers who don’t minister.

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