Today’s message summary of November 12, 2017 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Church is a place where we learn how to live for Jesus Christ. It counters how people have learned to live according to the world’s standards.
A person will truly change not just because someone tells him to change. The true change will come with the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit in that person’s life.
In understanding the word “apostle,” one first has to note that the word was never found in the Old Testament. It was only presented when Jesus used the word. It was a word used at sea concerning the ships that first went out. The ships were “sent out” before the rest of the fleet. Jesus applied this term to people. If you take the example of the apostles, Jesus sent them out before the church even comes into existence. He sent them out beforehand with a message.
Of the people that Jesus chose to be apostles, they were a mixed up group of people!
All but one of the disciples were from Galilee, which turned out to be a hotbed of activity and rebellion against the Romans. Nazareth was within Galilee, where it was spoken, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46a)
There was a controversy with Jewish authority (a religious group). Jesus was concerned about what was being taught within these groups.
The apostles witnessed miracles–things that no other person could do. They may not have completely understood what they were seeing, but yet they witnessed them. The miracles said something about Jesus, and that He was different from everyone else.
The apostles received private instruction–it was time alone with Jesus.
The apostles witnessed His resurrection. They saw Him in His new body.
They were able to see things that no one else had seen. In all of this, they could not even begin to explain all that they had witnessed to others.
Remember that Jesus was involved in two major ministries at that time (in the same way that today’s church is involved with these ministries today):
- Calling and training the twelve. (While there was emphasis on the twelve, there was other teaching and instruction that was taking place.)
- Healing and teaching in the community. (Jesus spoke to crowds of people and provided valuable wisdom and knowledge.)
The condition of our very society should be a flashpoint as to how the church is to respond, as the church is indeed the light for a dark world.
The church is to train people within its walls to be able to go out and execute Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), and that is to make disciples of other people–to win people to Jesus Christ and to bolster up and encourage other believers.
The apostles become Jesus’ traveling companions.
The disciples are those who receive Jesus’ teaching and even the direction of the apostles.
The community receives the teachings, and members of the community also go out in an effort to reach others.
Luke 10:1, 17
After this, the Lord appointed 70 others, and He sent them ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself was about to go.
The Seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in Your name.”
The apostles were godly men who showed their sincerity by following Jesus; yet at the time of their calling, they were ignorant, narrow-minded, superstitious, and full of Jewish prejudices and misconceptions.
And yet, God calls these men. They soon learn that Jesus taught them differently from what they had heard in the past. Even though they were considered godly men, it was Jesus’ words that gave them the ability to look at their own hearts and minds.
The apostles were aware of their own Jewish traditions, but lacked understanding as to their true meaning and application. They also had prejudice (Jews verses Gentiles, Samaritans) and superstition (ghosts). This is a lot like many of us today. Many people have ongoing misconceptions about what the church represents.
The apostles has much to unlearn of what was bad.
They had much to learn of what was good.
There were old beliefs that were incorrect that needed to be challenged in order to make room for new beliefs to be recognized and understood.
The greater number of disciples (70) were occasional followers. The (12) apostles would be with Him most of the time. They would become His traveling companions and His real ministry companions. He was teaching them in order to be able to send them into the world.
Then He went up the mountain and summoned those He wanted, and they came to Him. He also appointed 12—He also named them apostles—to be with Him, to send them out to preach, and to have authority to drive out demons.
Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, “Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.”
“Whenever you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by the people. I assure you: They’ve got their reward!”
He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”
Godly men need to learn how to pray.
When He saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. Then He began to teach them…
Jesus is still teaching today if you find the time to be with Him.
Are you willing to learn? Ask Him to teach you.
Do you desire to know more? Ask Him for more.
Look at these men who Jesus selected (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16)
- Peter and Andrew were brothers (John 1:40-41; Matthew 4:18)
- James and John were brothers who left their father (Matthew 4:21)
- Matthew was a government tax collector
- Thaddeus was known by three different names, including Jude
- ..a zealot…a killer and hater of Romans
- Judas was a deceiver and a thief
- James, son of Alpheus, brother of Matthew
- ..one who learns, spoke Greek
- ..also known as Nathanael; was skeptical (John 1:45-49)
- ..a doubter; was unsure (John 20:27)
Some of the brothers were bidding for a position within their role as apostles (who sits on the right hand of God or the left). This mixed up group of people had to learn from Jesus what was really important.
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, you really are My disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus can take anyone, regardless of their past, and transform a person to become a faithful servant of God. Jesus just wants you to come.