Jesus picked these guys… Really? – 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
In our last devotion, we seen that Jesus called His followers first to be learners, then to be sent out ones. In today’s devotion, we will look at the ones He chose to send out and we will see that Jesus picked His apostles differently than how we would!
He entrusted the message of the Kingdom of God being advanced on earth to poorly educated, tax collectors, fishermen, and zealous rebels! He didn’t only call them. The Scripture says He gave them authority. This says that the Lord will never ask you to do anything He doesn’t enable you to do by the power of His Spirit.
Let’s take a closer look at the list of men Jesus called because we may find these people in the church today!
1 – The guy who said the wrong things!
“Simon (who is called Peter)” This is the same Peter the fisherman who often found with his foot in his mouth. Peter would often speak… and think later. If you ever said wrong things, Peter understands. He boldly declared he would be with Jesus until the very end, then betrayed Jesus and deny Him three times. Despite his flaws, Peter is always mentioned as the first of the disciples. Jesus took him as Simon which meant “shifting and unstable” and called him Peter, which meant “the rock” on which Jesus would build His church.
2 – The guy who lived in his brother’s shadow.
“…his brother Andrew” Andrew is the less known younger brother of Peter. IF yo’ve ever lived in the shadow of someone else, Andrew relates to you. He was always in Peter’s shadow.
3 – The guys with tempers.
“James son of Zebedee, and his brother John” James and John were known as the “sons of thunder” because of their tempers. When a city didn’t respond to the message of the Gospel, John and James graciously offerred to call down fire from Heaven to destroy that city.
4 – The guys who doubted God.
“Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector”
Philip is listed next, then Bartholomew. Bartholomew is another name for Nathaniel. Nathaniel was the skeptic who asked “Cany thing good thing come out of Nazareth?” Added to this list is Thomas the doubter and Matthew the tax collector who took advantage of people for money.
5 – The guys who lived in obscurity.
“James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus”
James the son of Alphaes is unknown and so is Thaddaeus. We don’t know much about them from the Scripture. They are faithful disciples, but obscure disciples. If you ever wonder if God can use you despite you being shy and reserved, James and Thaddaeus understand… and the answer is “Yes! God can use you.”
6 – The guys who didn’t get along well with others.
“4 Simon the Zealot”
Simon the Zealot is mentioned next. Zealots were a group intent on overthrowing the Roman government. It must have been really interesting to have Simon the Zealot being a disciple along with Matthew, a tax collector for the Roman government! In these two men, Jesus brought together two men from extremely different backgrounds! It was like Republicans and Democrats, or liberals and conservatives being called together! People who don’t normally hang out find common ground in Jesus Christ.
7 – The guy who would betray Him.
“…and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
Judas, the traitor was chosen by Jesus. The list of disciples always ends with Judas… the traitor. There are times you will find that people in the church betray you. After all, if someone betrayed Jesus, why would we think no one would betray us?
What we learn from this list of disciples turned apostles.
In Matthew 10:1-4, we see that Jesus didn’t entrust His message to the wealthiest, most influential, most powerful, well trained orators, religious or political leaders. This list of disciples is inspiring because we see the apostles were far from being the most intelligent, educated, polished, or prepared individuals. How is that inspiring? It is inspiring because it shows that God uses a variety of people to accomplish His work. It gives us hope that if God could use these guys – empowered with the Holy Spirit – to change the world, then maybe He can use someone like me… and you. These passages teach us that those whom God calls, He equips. Although the equipping may not appear completely evident before the ministry begins, Jesus assures it will become evident along the way.
Oh Lord, You change the world through those who say the wrong things, those who are in the shadow of others, those who doubt, those who live in obscurity, those who don’t get along well with others, and those who betray You. You can use me to change the world. I surrender to Your will for my life. In Jesus’ name, 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.