Summary: The Apostles were very human men, just like us. And just as Jesus took these diamonds in the rough and polished them into gems, so God wants us to reach our spiritual potential by spending time with Jesus.

The Transformation of the Twelve, Part Four

(Matt. 10:2-3)

NOTE: In actual preaching, I could not finish PART 3, so I "picked up where I left off" in part 4...

Main Idea: The Apostles were very human men, just like us. And just as Jesus took these diamonds in the rough and polished them into gems, so God wants us to reach our spiritual potential by spending time with Jesus.

I. Levi Matthew: The Godless Man Who Became Godly

1. From a recent sermon, you remember that Matthew had been a tax collector, forsaking God and Judaism...

---excommunicated and cut off from the people of God

---probably well taught in childhood, named Levi, his Gospels quotes OT more than any other

---Matthew is called the son of Alpheus and possibly the brother or half brother of James the lesser (also called a son of Alpheus); Alpheus was Jesus uncle or great uncle (also called Clophas)....(Mark 2:14)---Matthew would have been a first or second COUSIN to Jesus....

2. The Talmud, "It is righteous to lie and deceived a tax collector."

3. His overwhelming sense of sin made it easier to follow the Lord Jesus Christ whole-heartedly; little to be proud of in himself...

4. A heart for the Lost: invited all his rowdy friends to come and hear Jesus...banquet....

5. Probably was detail-oriented and accurate

----The Gospel of Matthew is as smooth as can be, very logical order

----Tax collectors, book work, etc..

6. Traditions says he preached in several different nations....


II. James the Lesser

1. Probably the brother of Matthew Levi; young or short?

2. May have been Christ’s 1st or 2nd cousin, and Matthew may have been as well....

3. We know next to nothing about him; like Andrew who lived in the shadows of Peter, so James the lesser seems to be have been quiet, introverted....

(1) people who are pasionate often leave no room to recognize that God can use, bless and approve of

the reserved, quiet types.....the Apostles BEAR testimony that this is nonsense...

(2) Christ could have chosen 12 outgoing natural born leaders: He chose only some this way....

(3) Many good leaders are not great extroverts....but they have to be nudged into leadership....

(4) What about you? Are you hesitant to get involved? HPC welcomes you; we are a fortress where you

won’t be bullied or put down if you are not a go-getter or filled with intenese passions....Like the 12, we want a variety of personalities here...

4. Church tradition says he preached in Persia/Iran and was crucified there.


III. Thaddeus, The Man Who Could Not Understand Why Christ Did Not Just Take Over (John 14:21-22)

1. Thaddeus went by several names, Judas (perhaps his actual name), incl Labbeus

2. His only recorded words are in John 14:21-22…..his understanding was not unlike the other Apostles….

---------------were they wrong in understanding the OT and the Kingdom?

3. Tradition says he went to evangelize Syria, and even won the king to Christ, but was beaten to death by one of the king’s relatives…


IV. Simon the Zealot

1. The "Zealots" were political activists who wanted to rid Israel of Roman rule…. Some of them were called the sicarii….

2. The Jews who fled to Masada were zealots….

3. Some people think that since Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot are always grouped together that Judas had zealot tendencies…Perhaps Thaddeus, Simon, and Judas were all a bit this way, in light of Thaddeus’ question….

4. Perhaps like Judas, Simon had followed Jesus for political reasons—but Simon was won over to the teachings of Christ whereas Judas was not…

5. Sometimes people come to Jesus for the wrong reasons, and some become dedicated followers anyway while others do not….

6. Simon learned that real peace does NOT come by the sword. Nor is the kingdom of God a political kingdom. Our faith can and should affect our politics, but the right government is NOT going to bring in the Millennium. We need to be careful not to aim to high in our expectations. REAL CHANGE COMES FROM HUMAN HEARTS CHANGED ONE AT A TIME.



1. The 12 Apostles were all different, yet they were united because of their faith in Jesus...

2. But God used them, in ways consistent with their personalities, to get the church off to a good start. God wants to use you (REALLY) and me to FURTHER the church.

3. Are we available?

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