Summary: This is a study of Matthew and Thomas based on 12 Ordinary Men. It has a lot of added notes and scripture.

Twelve Ordinary Men

Matthew and Thomas

Note: This is a study from the book 12 Ordinary Men by John McArthur an excellent book. There is also a fill in the blank outline from Adult Bible Fellowships of First Baptist Church Orion that I have posted in the series. This is not original but worth posting for study.


As we go through these disciples we notice there are a few commonalities that carry together

- except for Judas Iscariot they were all from the same area, Galilee

- all of them were commoners

- none were religious leaders.

This is what caused the Pharisees to reject Jesus. Three reasons they didn’t like the things he did:

1. It was not their idea

2. It was not their way

3. They didn’t get the praise for it. They pretended to be upset and religious complaining when Jesus was worshiped, but they didn’t mind when people praised them. Actually they did things that drew attention and praise to themselves. Prayer, food, ceremonies, etc.

Another reason they hated Jesus so much was because he called them sinners. They were too pious and religious to see their need for a savior.

Review of Disciples

Remember what I told you each offered something unique. It could be from their personality, their background or their profession. Peter was a leader and had the personality of a strong leader he just had to be tempered. Andrew was totally opposite he was in the back ground and brought people to Jesus, he brought evangelism to the group, a world perspective. James was an ambitious person which was good but he needed to let the Holy Spirit lead him. John was ambitious and black and white in teaching which is great for facts but need God’s compassion. Phillip was a analytical person. He liked order yet Jesus taught him to walk by faith. Nathanael was a follower of scripture. You could imagine the discussion they would have a Nathanael would bring up prophecy and stories of the Old Testament.

The next two we look at are no different. They are from totally different backgrounds yet they bring something to the group.

I. Matthew the Publican (Matt. 9:9)

Mat 9:9-10 As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me." So he arose and followed Him. (10) Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples.

a. His Hebrew name was Levi.

b. He is the author of the Gospel that bears his name. For that reason, we might expect to have a lot

more detail about this man and his character. However, in his Gospel, he only mentions his own

name twice.

This says a lot about his character. He seemed to be one who stayed in the background. He was humble and self-effacing.

c. Matthew was a publican – or a tax collector when Jesus called him.

This the last credential that we might expect to be added to the hodge podge of men called disciples. The publicans were hated. There were worse than the Herodians (Jews who were followers of the dynasty of Herod). It was not just a religious thing it was a society that hated them.

d. Publicans were men who had bought tax franchises from the Roman emperor and then

extorted money from the people of Israel to feed the Roman coffers and to pad their own


e. It is interesting to note that that the three tax collectors mentioned specifically in the Gospels all

found forgiveness. They were Zaccheus and the publican who “went to the temple to


Luke 18:9-14 Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: (10) "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. (11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ’God, I thank You that I am not like other men--extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. (12) I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ (13) And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ’God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Luke 7:29 And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John.

Mat 21:31-32 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to Him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. (32) For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

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