#928. He chose a strange bunch! (26/10/23)
This week, as we continue in our series, Luke - Exploring who Jesus is, we will be exploring the account in 6:12-16 and the appointing of The Twelve Apostles. Today, we will see how Jesus did not choose the most likely candidates to found The Church.
‘One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.’ (Luke 6:12-16)
Lesson: God chooses people from all sorts of backgrounds to be Christians and to be leaders in His church because He is gracious and wants to reach all kinds of people.
You can listen to this devotional at:
After praying all night, Jesus didn’t choose a group of perfect men. He chose ordinary and flawed men and in so doing He made no mistake! He chose Peter whom would deny Him. He chose Simon the Zealot (Zealots were political activists radically opposed to Roman rule.) He chose Judas Iscariot who became a traitor!
In choosing these twelve we learn that God chooses to work through people. Jesus appointed apostles to found the church and continue the mission. God doesn’t need us but He chooses to work through us.
In choosing these twelve we learn that God works through flawed people. We will have seasons of success and, to varying degrees, we will experience failure and sin. However, God works through the likes of us to show that He is a God of grace and that all success is to His glory!
In choosing these twelve we learn that ‘the wheat grows with the tares’ - the church, even among her leaders, has men and women who are not truly born again. We should not be surprised that some leaders fall - it has always been thus even among those that Jesus chose!
In choosing these twelve we learn that some, like Peter, who heads the list, have great prominence but others like are hardly heard about; although, I’m confident that they did great things for God.
God chooses people from all sorts of backgrounds to be Christians and to be leaders in His church because He is gracious and wants to reach all kinds of people. Do you know that God wants to work through you with all of your struggles? Have you become discouraged because leaders have failed or maybe because you have so little prominence compared to others? Let the choosing of The Twelve encourage you afresh.
Perhaps you’d like to Pray this:
“Lord Jesus, as you chose The Twelve with all of there failings, so you choose ordinary people to serve you and to lead in your church. Please encourage my heart afresh that you have chosen and want to work through me for the extension of your Kingdom. Amen.”
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
2. Icebreaker How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Study and pray together
This week we continue in our Luke series looking at Luke 6:12-16. In this section we see Jesus, after a night of prayer, appoint 12 apostles, who, like the 12 patriarchs of Israel, are chosen and commissioned to re-form and found the people of God on Christ.
Please read Luke 6:12-16
This is the third time that Luke specifically mentions Jesus’ devotion to prayer (See also 4:32, 5:15-16). Why do you think Luke does this and what does it mean for us?
Do you have a special place or time when you pray and read the bible? Share and pool ideas to encourage one another.
Why is it sometimes so hard to spend time alone with God? What might we do to combat the urge not to? (I use the word combat to evoke the idea of a spiritual battle)
Why did Jesus specifically choose 12 to be apostles and why were they, humanly speaking, not the greatest choice?
Ephesians 1:4-5 says that God chose us to be adopted as sons and daughters before the creation of the world. How do you feel knowing you, like the apostles, have been chosen?
SIV - 'Apostle' means ‘sent one’. Although we are not apostles, what are we all appointed and sent by Jesus to do?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - How could you step up in praying for your community who don’t know Jesus?
SIV - Let's now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.