Moving from Disciples to Apostles, by Ty Tamasaka
“10 Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
2 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.” Matthew 10:1-4 NIV (emphasis mine)
In Matthew 10, Jesus’ followers go from being “disciples” which meant “learners” in verse 1 to “apostles” or “sent out ones” in verse 2. It’s important to know Jesus first called the twelve disciples to Himself. Disciple were first learners. The men Jesus selected learned by traveling with Him, talking with Him, and spending time with Him.
In the next verse, they are referred to as “apostles” or “sent out ones.”
Here’s two observations we can make about Jesus’ calling His people to mission.
1 – Jesus calls us to Himself first.
Too often we think Jesus calls us to do things for Him first. It is easy, even in the context of the church and ministry, to think Jesus is all about the tasks we accomplish for Him, the ministry we do for Him, and service we give to Him. Matthew 10:1 reminds us that He is primarily concerned with us coming to Him.
Verse 1 teaches us that the primary calling of the Christian is to be with Jesus. Before we minister to others, we are called to be with Jesus. Before we do anything significant, we are called to be with Jesus. Before we serve others, we are called to be with Jesus.
Are you being with Jesus? Are you taking time to be with Him in His word? Are you taking time to be with Him in prayer? In communion? Remember the primary calling of the believer is to be with Jesus. If you are so busy doing things in ministry that you aren’t taking the time to be with Jesus, you are too busy. Slow down. Spend time with Jesus. That’s what He calls you to first.
2 – One verse later, Jesus sends them out for Him.
Interesting. One verse after they are with Him, Jesus sends them out. When we come to know Jesus, some of us want to wait and wait until chapters of our lives have passed by before we become “sent out ones.” We want to be thoroughly prepared to be “sent out ones” through classes, education, schooling, small groups, and Bible studies. We don’t feel we are ready to share because we might say the wrong things or offend people. If we are going to be “sent out ones,” we want the assurance that people will respond well. Jesus gives no such promise. Jesus doesn’t wait until we “feel” prepared. When you spend time with Him, He transforms you and sends you out!
– Jesus draws you to Himself.
– Jesus develops you for service.
– Jesus deploys you on mission.
A key point here is that those who were apostles, were first disciples. Those who were “sent out” were first “learners.”
How are you going out for Jesus? Whom are you reaching and building for Him?
Lord Jesus thank You for Your presence and calling to be with You and be sent out with You. Amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.