*Intro* -- The first day of school in my 5th grade year a pretty new blond girl showed up in our class.
I was smitten, but at that age it wasn’t cool to admit you liked a girl, and I had no confidence to talk to her anyway.
So it took half the year before, after checking with multiple 3rd parties, I sent a note.
She sent a note back, and I was chosen.
It was great.
We didn’t say 100 words to each other all year.
But everyone knew.
Our desks were magically moved next to each other.
Never occurred to me it was anything but luck!
It’s great to be chosen.
Married people, remember the joy of being chosen by that special someone.
I sure do!
I hope that feeling persists.
But chosen by God is best of all.
Eph 1:4, “he [God] chose us in him [Christ] before the foundation of the world.”
We are chosen to be family and we are chosen to serve.
Lu 12:13 records a special choosing.
Jesus “called his disciples and chose from them 12, whom he named apostles.”
Realizing that time is growing short, Jesus chose 12 men for the special task of carrying forward His work after His death, resurrection and ascension.
This is one of 4 places in the NT where these men are named (the others being Matt.
10:2–4, Mark 3:16–19, and Acts 1:13).
The number 12 immediately links them to the 12 tribes of Israel.
Jesus later tells them they will “sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:30).
But there is a lot to be endured before that time.
Now, we’re not apostles, but we are chosen.
Paul says in I Thess 1:4, “For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you.”
Chosen to serve.
It should warm our hearts and fire our spirits to examine Jesus’s choice.
Today the Prerequisites for choosing – next week the Purpose and the Power.
God’s pattern for choosing is unique.
God chooses ordinary and makes it great for His glory.
God chose Abraham, a Gentile idolater (Josh 24:2) to found the nation of Israel and believers everywhere.
He chose an 80-year-old murder named Moses to lead Israel out of Egyptian captivity.
He chose a prostitute, Rahab, to save the Israeli spies and become an ancestor of Jesus.
David went from lowly shepherd, youngest in his family, to Israel’s greatest king.
Are you seeing a pattern here?
Eph 1:11 “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined (chosen) according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”
God’s purpose, not our merit, is the basis for His choosing.
That same pattern surfaces in Jesus’ choosing of these 12 ordinary men to produce greatness.
What They Were Not*
*Rich and Famous* – Can you name the 12?
You might get Peter, James, John, maybe Andrew and Judas.
Gets tough after that, doesn’t it?
They are not rich and famous.
A couple got pretty famous, but they start ordinary!
Look at the list starting v.14 “Simon, whom he named Peter, (the boisterous, inconsistent “Everyman” who despite his shortcomings is the natural leader of the group.
His rough edges take a lot of work!)
And Andrew his brother (a humble servant who is always seen bringing someone to Christ).
James and John (another set of brothers from Bethsaida who were partners with Peter and Andrew in the fishing business.
Nicknamed the “sons of thunder” for their fiery nature.
They once wanted to call down fire from heaven on a village that refused entry to Jesus.
James was the first martyr – John the last to die and closest to Jesus no earth).
Philip (also from Bethsaida -- Couldn’t figure how to feed 5,000 men, and amazed Jesus by asking in John 14 how they might see the Father after 3 years with Jesus.
But he brought Nathaniel and some Greeks to Jesus).
Bartholomew (we wouldn’t know his name [Bartholomew means “son of Tolmai”] except John calls him Nathaniel.
He initially questioned whether anything good could come out of Nazareth, but then almost immediately recognized Jesus as Son of God and King of Israel).
15 “and Matthew (the collaborator with Rome and tax collector – also called Levi.
Gave a great party for Jesus.
Shows humility by calling himself “Matthew, the tax-gatherer.”
Amazed by grace).
Thomas (also called Didymus, meaning twin.
He was pessimistic, but also courageous and loved Jesus.
When Jesus determined to go to dangerous territory to raise Lazarus in John 11, the disciples warned against it, but Thomas said, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
He wanted no life without Jesus.
He was concerned about where Jesus was going in John 14:5.
His refused to believe the resurrection until he saw the nail prints – thus “Doubting Thomas”.
But when he saw, he gave the great confession, “My Lord and My God.”
Strong tradition that he went to India and was speared to death).
James the son of Alphaeus (probably James the less of Mark 15:40, meaning younger,smaller or less important.
Son of the other Mary who was at the cross).
Simon who was called the Zealot (meaning he was part of a party of activists against Rome – particularly strong in Galilee.
Hated foreign domination.)
16) Judas the son of James (also called Thadeus.
In John 14:22 wanted Jesus to put Himself more into the limelight.
Wanted political action).
Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Was elected treasurer, though he was robbing all along, and Jesus knew it.
The only one not from Galilee).
That’s the group.
Not a star among them.
Not how we would select, is it?
If I’m starting a group of apostles, give me a Tebow, a Tulo, a Billy Graham, a Condoleza Rice – star power!
Not obscure, back country Galilean hillbillies.
But that is who God chose to upset the Roman world.
*Overly Intelligent* – They were activists and businessmen, not highly educated.
After 3 years with Jesus, they struggled with the basics.
The night before He died, He told them that He was going away, but that at some point they would be with Him again.
We pick up in John 14:5, “5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going.
How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” They’re not phi beta kapa!
You see this in Mark 9:9, “9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them (Peter, James and John) to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.