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Lesson # Matt. 10:2-4
Study Material - Matt. 10:2-4
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
2 Now [de] the names [onoma] of the twelve [dodeka] apostles [apostolos] are [esti] these [tauta] ; The first [protos] , Simon [Simon] , who [ho] is called [lego] Peter [Petros] , and [kai] Andrew [Andreas] his [autos] brother [adelphos] ; James [Iakobos] the son of [ho] Zebedee [Zebedaios] , and [kai] John [Ioannes] his [autos] brother [adelphos] ;
3 Philip [Philippos] , and [kai] Bartholomew [Bartholomaios] ; Thomas [Thomas] , and [kai] Matthew [Matthaios] the publican [telones] ; James [Iakobos] the son of [ho] Alphaeus [Alphaios] , and [kai] Lebbaeus [Lebbaios] , whose surname was [epikaleomai] Thaddaeus [Thaddaios] ;
4 Simon [Simon] the Canaanite [Kananites] , and [kai] Judas [Ioudas] Iscariot [Iskariotes] , who [ho] also [kai] betrayed [paradidomi] him [autos] . KJV-Interlinear
2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. NAS
We have already covered the twelve apostles, or eleven actually and then Judas, in Mark 3. We gave each apostle a full days study except for the last couple of apostles, so we won't duplicate that detail here again. Refer to Mark 3:16 for the beginning of that name list and the several studies following.
I'll only point out here the general principles from their selection. First God chose each. They did not come forward and apply for the position. None of them decided that they had it in them, so they wanted to be a disciple of God.
By the way disciple means only, student or pupil. Apostle means delegate or ambassador, or probably better stated in this case, messenger, because these twelve were by far from the best qualified academically or even spiritually. They lacked faith and knowledge. They did have drive ... at times, but being only human they had their flaws. Just like you and me.
We all have our flaws. We all have our talents. But we all did not get them or earn them, the talents that is, from our own abilities. God provided us with everything necessary for us to be where we are. And this is possibly one of the most difficult concepts for some folks (most folks actually) to deal with in their life. We have had our ideas of what life should be. We have wondered whether it is all worth it, whether there is anything better in life, and these ideas usually come out of our frustrations and anxieties in life.
So we are given very good examples of Apostles, who have been 'sainted' to some higher level of existence, but when each apostle is examined we find that they were no better than any of us. This is not an attack of the apostles, nor an attempt to lower their position in Christianity, but it should give each one of us confidence that there is a plan for our lives and that we have something better to look forward to in life. We cannot look at ourselves in the mirror and compare ourselves to some higher standard, find ourselves lacking, and then give up. That is not the approach we should have in life.
Some of us will be rocket scientists for sure. Most of us will change diapers. Is one better than the other? No. Gods plan takes into account every minute detail in history, even in the universe. Like I mentioned yesterday we can look at the birth of a child and not know its impact on history, not for many years probably. But God knows what that birth will contribute to history - good or bad. We can look at a death of a person and we can guess as to the impact, but really in life, which is a huge chess game, it is really impossible for us to generally decipher any event and reach some conclusion until far after it has occurred, as to what its impact might be.
We have many centuries of history with which to evaluate events. We know that if terrorists wish to destroy the planet, and that if God does not wish this to occur, then God will bring all the right ingredients into play to prevent the success of terrorists. But then, we also know that in the end of our Church Age, and the beginning of the Tribulation, that God will allow great turmoil to occur in the world. There will be tremendous trouble in the world, and tremendous misery, but that will not occur until that future time in history. Mans efforts to bring about the tribulation early will fail. Likewise mans efforts to bring about the Millennium will fail too. Jesus Christ controls history, not man.
God also, does not depend on any of mans talents to do His work. God can use anyone, who is positive, for His purpose. God can use anyone who is negative to direct His plan. Mankind places no limitations of or even contributions to Gods ability to execute history.
These twelve were placed into history for the functions which God designed specifically for them, despite their flaws, despite their lack of formal education, credentials, titles, despite their financial status, despite any earthly characteristics and so forth.
So too, God has placed you into history for a purpose. Your failures are irrelevant. Your earthly successes are irrelevant. The only thing that is relevant in your life with respect to what or when God will use you in history, is only limited to your spiritual growth. Now combine your spiritual growth with whatever talents God gave you and that may be your calling. But again Gods purpose may have nothing to do with what you went to school for, too. Moses was highly educated and ended up leading a miserable group in the desert for forty years. He could have been Pharaoh. You may begin life with the best laid plans for yourself, and then life happens, and you may go that very direction or you may end up in something entirely different from what you imagined yourself to be. God has a sense of humor too.
These days we face growing unemployment, growing liberal attitudes, growing violence from terrorists or just common thugs. We also face the constant daily concerns of our life - paying the monthly bills or just keeping the business afloat. On our own, none of us would survive. But with God in our lives, then we place the problems of our daily support in Gods hands and let Him bring all the necessary ingredients into our lives that will sustain us.
The product will be there, the customers will be there, the paycheck will be there, the ideas will come to us such that we can make the right decisions and function in life. Jesus called these twelve, He selected them, He taught them, He sent them out with their instructions.
Jesus Christ does this very same thing through our daily study of His Word. He teaches and we listen. He instructs and we learn. He sends us out in life, and we apply what we know to our daily life.
The Pharisees would never have selected these twelve. The twelve were beneath their level of expectations. The twelve were not the elite of the world, and too, neither are you, and neither am I. But then, worldly standards are irrelevant. Gods standards are the only relevant standards by which God evaluates each one of us, and those standards are equally available to us all through our simple positive attitude and commitment to our daily Bible study.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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