A Few Sorta Good Men
By Jennifer Devlin
Great leadership always appoints people to help them accomplish the vision that God has given them. To provide an example for leadership and discipleship, Jesus had to establish that practice Himself. Who could better show us Christ-like living than Jesus Christ?
Jesus walked along, ministering to those in His path and finding those whom He was going to bring alongside Him. This was no random selection; Jesus knew exactly whom He was calling and why. The men He used were busy tending to their family occupations, or were busy with a task at hand when Jesus asked them to drop all they were doing in order to follow Him.
The great thing about this scene is this: Jesus picked people just like you and I to do Kingdom work. How exciting is that? Please remember from this day forward that if God
could use those 12 men in all their humanity, then He can use you and me today!
Many people followed Jesus wherever He went, waiting to see a miracle or some amazing feat being accomplished by this man in their midst. The mass of people may not have realized that Jesus was gathering a group that would support Him in ministry as He traveled from place to place.
He asked men who were actively working and busy with their own lives to drop everything they were doing to follow Him. And they did. When they became a part of His following, and when the timing was right, Jesus decided to bring structure to this plan. Jesus brought those He had chosen with Him on the mountainside, named them as His apostles, and these men were ready to go forth in a group, serving their Savior in unity.
Jesus ultimately appointed 12 men, designating them as Apostles. He appointed them to follow Him and to preach the message He gave them. Why did He choose 12 disciples? Or a better question might be: why did He choose this motley assortment of leaders?
Most of The 12 were not very noteworthy in society; a few were despised; and a few were even related to each other. Fishermen, tax collectors, and the like were not what that society would have considered being among the most respected professions!
It was not their impressive resume or knowledge of Scripture that caused these men to be worthy in Christ’s eyes—it was their potential dedication to the cause of spreading the Gospel and the true intentions in their heart that won Him over. It was the simple fact that they would follow Him and not try to take His spot as Savior.
There was no great campaign with a controversial election. There was no “smear campaign” going on among these men discrediting others to elevate themselves. They did not ask to be selected. They were selected while focused on activities that were critical to their lives. They were selected because God wanted to mold them, use them, and walk with them. They were chosen because God called them.
These men who were chosen were already involved in activities they were dedicated to. They put their heart into their work and focused on the task at hand. Their hearts were set on the present and were not usually swayed by what others were doing.
Like the disciples, no matter what our words or actions may say about our intentions, our heart is what God sees, and God judges us based on our hearts. Their hearts are what God searched, and He found them to be useful vessels to serve Him. They were not necessarily perfect, but they were useful to God. Teachable. Loyal. Willing.
Are you teachable? Would God consider you loyal and willing? Take a moment to ask God to shape you into a more teachable, loyal and willing servant, focusing on His will, and not just focused on pleasing man.
So, who were the 12? The first apostles were “. . . Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus, and Simon the Zealot; and Judas Escariot. . .” (Mark 3:16–18).
These followers were not just the favorite men of Christ. He gave them the title of apostle, anointed them with power to preach the Word of God and authority to cast out demons. These were no longer just ordinary men who followed their Savior. They were separated for service, and given a task to complete.
The first disciples modeled the very charge for all believers. Again, Jesus gives us the example of how to fulfill what God asks. We bring others alongside us to help in the ministry of the gospel. Jesus showed us how to do this through His appointing of the disciples. Out of the multitude of believers, Jesus saw those with a call from the Father on their lives, and put them into positions of servant leadership. Jesus saw the ones whom the Father had brought alongside Him, and He asked them to serve with Him in ministry.
In Acts 6:1–7, after Jesus had ascended to the heavens, we see the apostles carrying out the Great Commission. We see them appointing helpers. God had blessed them with a great following, and now these men needed to select other helpers to serve meals so that those chosen to preach could focus on preaching. The apostles were following the example of delegation given by Jesus.
How does Jesus’ example of appointing helpers compare with your way of asking for help? Do you look for the “right” person, or do you tag the person closest to you, whether that person is right for the job or not? If you ask Him, the Lord will equip you to do what He has called you to do, and He will call others to come alongside you in service.
Excerpted from Life Principles for Christ-like Living, Copyright 2006 by Jennifer Devlin, ISBN 0-89957-339-8.
For more information, visit Jennifer’s Web site.
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