Tag Archives: Jewish

Salvation and the Church: The Apostles Were a Mixed Up Group

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):

  1. Calling and training the twelve. (While there was emphasis on the twelve, there was other teaching and instruction that was taking place.)
  2. 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.

Mark 3:13-15

Then He went up the mountain and summoned those He wanted, and they came to Him.  He also appointed 12He also named them apostlesto be with Him, to send them out to preach, and to have authority to drive out demons.

Matthew 13:36

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.”

Matthew 6:5

“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!”

Luke 11:1

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.

Matthew 5:1-2

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.

John 13:34-35

“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.”

John 8:31-32

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.

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“No Prophet is Accepted in his Hometown”

Jesus Christ’s life on earth is an example for each of us and a model for living our lives. Going home to witness, however, proved to be very difficult and received a response that should not be surprising to us, especially if you are a believer in Jesus Christ who has relatives and parents that don’t know the Lord.After going through the temptation in the wilderness, He returned to Galilee, His home, to share His knowledge. He returned with the Holy Spirit present–he was no longer just the son of Joseph the carpenter:
Luke 4:14-15
Then Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread throughout the entire vicinity. He was teaching in their synagogues, being acclaimed by everyone.

He was no longer living as a carpenter but now as a teacher, and everyone had heard about Him. His life was open for everyone to see, and He did what was customary to Him as he grew up there–He went to the synagogue.

Luke 4:16-21
He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. As usual, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and unrolling the scroll, He found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. And the eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on Him. He began by saying to them, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.”

Isaiah 61:1-2

 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, 
    because the LORD has anointed Me
    to bring good news to the poor. 
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim liberty to the captives,
    and freedom to the prisoners;

    2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, 
    and the day of our God’s vengeance; 
    to comfort all who mourn.

Jesus declares Himself to be the Messiah and the Deliverer; yet, they still regarded Him as Joseph’s son. Sometimes in your ministry to those who are most familiar with you and your life when you were growing from childhood into adulthood, you will not be taken seriously. There is a lot of history that affects those closest to you, and even your own family members may question the change and difference in your life that they see in you. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck on where people may still see you. Your response is to continue to do what is necessary, and you may have to graciously move on to another area where you can continue to be obedient to God and serve Him.

In our text in Luke chapter 4, Jesus was not removed from the synagogue because of his comments about the Messiah–he was removed because of His references to Gentiles who believed in the Word of God and had faith in contrast to the unbelief of the Jews. They took exception to His comments that they would not believe and yet Gentiles would believe His Word.

Luke 4:22-30

22 They were all speaking well of Him and were amazed by the gracious words that came from His mouth, yet they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

    23 Then He said to them, “No doubt you will quote this proverb to Me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself.’ ‘All we’ve heard that took place in Capernaum, do here in Your hometown also.’ “

    24 He also said, ” I assure you: No prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25But I say to you, there were certainly many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days,when the sky was shut up for three years and six months while a great famine came over all the land. 26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them—but to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 27 And in the prophet Elisha’s time, there were many in Israel who had serious skin diseases, yet not one of them was healed —only Naaman the Syrian.”

    28 When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was enraged. 29 They got up, drove Him out of town, and brought Him to the edge of the hill their town was built on, intending to hurl Him over the cliff. 30 But He passed right through the crowd and went on His way.

Here are the references that Christ was noting in the passage of Gentiles believing and trusting the Word:

1 Kings 17:13-15

13 Then Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid; go and do as you have said. Only make me a small loaf from it and bring it out to me. Afterwards, you may make some for yourself and your son, 14 for this is what the LORD God of Israel says: ‘The flour jar will not become empty and the oil jug will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the surface of the land. ‘ “

    15 So she proceeded to do according to the word of Elijah. She and he and her household ate for many days.

2 Kings 5:13-15

13 But his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more [should you do it] when he tells you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” 14 So Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, according to the command of the man of God. Then his skin was restored [and became] like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean.

    15 Then Naaman and his whole company went back to the man of God, stood before him, and declared, “I know there’s no God in the whole world except in Israel. Therefore, please accept a gift from your servant.”

By standing in the Word of God, you will ultimately be successful in everything that you attempt in life.  It begins with believing and trusting in His Word.

We need to realize that the rejection of those we know may be hard to deal with, we must still focus upon carrying out God’s will for our life by walking in Spirit and in truth. It is about being a good witness to others in all that we do for the glory of God.