Know The Story: Two years passed since Peter and Andrew first met Jesus. For the first year and a half, they followed Jesus at a distance, exploring His claims and coming to the conviction that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (see Matt. 16:16). Then they answered His called to “follow Him” and become fishers of people. During the next several months Peter, Andrew, James and John shadowed Jesus, watching Him do miracles, heal the sick, cast out demons, and confront the religious establishment of the day. They were on a steep learning curve for sure!
But now Jesus was raising the stakes again. Two years into His ministry, the movement was growing so rapidly that Jesus needed to identify and train a few disciples who would lead the movement once He was gone. He spent all night in prayer, asking the Father for wisdom as He selected these disciples. Then He chose 12. Jesus would train these disciples for the next year and a half. Eventually, they would take the gospel to the ends of the earth.
13 Jesus went up to the mountain and summoned those he wanted, and they came with him. 14 He appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, to send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 He appointed the Twelve: To Simon, he gave the name Peter; 17 and to James the son of Zebede, and to his brother John, he gave the name “Boanerges” (that is, “Sons of Thunder”); 18 Andrew; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, 19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Based on these verses, what qualities do you think Jesus was looking for in these disciples?
What does it mean to be “with” Jesus? To be send out by Him?
Jesus Uses Ordinary People
Jesus hand-selected these disciples to be leaders. They were an interesting group to say the least. None were wealthy, highly educated, powerful, or from the ranks of the religious elite. In fact, the opposite is true. Most were hard-working laborers, others were political zealots, one was a dishonest tax collector, and still others were small-town nobodies.
Look at the way Acts 4:13 refers to Peter and John:
13 When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.
These uneducated, common men were transformed by Jesus. That should bring us a lot of comfort. Jesus loves using common, ordinary people to do uncommon, extraordinary things!
Being a follower of Christ doesn’t mean we always do extraordinary things for God. What are some ordinary things a follower of Christ can do to advance the Kingdom?
Excerpt from Disciples Path: The Journey – Volume 2, Session 4: The Priorities of a Disciple