Summary: From Christ’s intense ministry with the Apostles, we can see that God looks beyond what we are to what we can become. He wants us to enter the process of transformation and to continue on in that process.
Transformation in Progress: Brief Sketches of the Twelve
I included this hand out in the bulletin:
The Calling of the Disciples
There are several different "calling" of Jesus’ disciples, and it can be difficult to sort them out. Let’s take a look at at least three of them.
1. Some of the Disciples were called for the first time in John chapter 1. None of these men were familiar with Jesus at this time (probably). They were disciples of John and responded to Jesus as join pointed Him out as the "Lamb of God" and "The one of whom I am not worthy to untie His sandal." These disciples spent a period of time with Jesus and then went back to their secular jobs.
3. The thrid calling took place about TWO YEARS after the initial calling of John 1. At this point, the disciples were called to leave their work and families for a period of about a year and a half and to learn from Christ and work with Him on a fulltime basis. This is the calling referred to in Luke 5. For simplicity’s sake, Luke only mentions this call to full time service and skips the inital calls.
4. The 12 Disciples were later titled, "Apostles." What is the difference? Jesus had MANY disciples. As a matter of fact, most of us reading this page are Disciples (followers and learners) of Jesus Christ. Apostles were "authoritative representatives" of Christ who helped to found the Church (Eph. 2:20). They were all Jews (Matt. 19:28), all witnessed the resurrected Christ (I Cor. 9:1, Acts 1:21-22) , and could all work the miracles of an Apostle (2 Cor. 12:12)
Putting this all together, the Disciples/Apostles got to know Christ for two years through temporary meetings with Christ before they committed themselves to full time ministry. How much contact they had with their families during this time is not clear, but their families were left in good hands. This was a truly unique situation and is not intended to be any sort of pattern for Church Age discipleship.
Also note that after the Resurrection, at least for a while, the disicples went back to their trades (see John 21). Following Christ does not mean we must forsake our careers or families, but it does mean we must put Jesus Christ first and be WILLING to follow His lead.
***********sermon proper below**********
In our text today, we see the Apostles listed by name. But these men were more than names, they were real people. They got on one another’s nerves, they had great strengths and great weaknesses. One of them, Judas, was insincere.
The other 11 were sometimes dense, stubborn, blinded by their preconceived ideas, and wavered in thier faith and commitment.
These Apostles were men being transformed; we see them in the process of transformation. Christ would take these diamonds in the rough, this raw material, modify their personalities, and develop their spiritual depth.
MAIN IDEA: From Christ’s intense ministry with the Apostles, we can see that God looks beyond what we are to what we can become. He wants us to enter the process of transformation and to continue on in that process.
TS---------> Let’s look at these flesh and blood, far from perfect Apostles, men not unlike ourselves.
I. Peter: The Bold Initiator
1. "No other disciple so boldly confessed Christ or so boldly denied Him.. No other disciple was so praised and blessed by Jesus, and yet no other did He call Satan." John MacArthur
2. A native of Bethsaida who moved to Capernaum
(1) he, his dad and brother Andrew were fishermen in partnership w/James & John
(2) he was married, so he had a mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14); wife later traveled in ministry (I Cor. 9:5)
3. His original name was Simon, probably a contraction of Simeon...Jesus changed it to Cephas (aram) or Greek, "Peter" meaning a stone....
4. Peter was a great initiator, the strongest leader in the group...
(1) bold confession --Matt. 16:15-17
(2) bold blunder--Matt. 16:21-23
5. Peter was vacillating and unstable, but Christ would work with Him to develop Him into a Rock who would open up the church age to the Jews (Pentecost), the Samaritans, and the Gentiles (Cornelius)...
6. Before His crucifixion, Christ tells Peter that he would deny Him, and Peter did--3 TIMES
7. Then in John 21, Peter is asked to affirm His love for Christ 3 TIMES!
8. Peter went on the serve Christ faithfully, fully backing Paul as the spotlight turned to him....
9. Eventually, Peter was crucifed upside down in Rome....
Application: Are you an unstable, vacillating person? Are you never content for long? Do you speak first and think later? Do you boast of great feats and dumb mistakes? Enter into the discipleship process with Jesus, and He’ll work with you. You’ll always be you, but you’ll be a better you, like Peter was.