Posted by: genelnicholsblog | July 7, 2011

twelve to four to us

Jesus has always been a controversial figure – he still is in some circles.  From the very beginning of His earthly ministry, He stirred up strong feelings from many different groups.  The first public speaking He did in the synagogue, the crowd conspired to take him out and kill him!  But He continued to gain great popularity with the people of Galilee.  Huge crowds followed Him, so huge that one day he took refuge from the crowds and spoke from a fishing boat just off shore … that boat belonged to a man named Simon, Simon PETER.  And so began his journey with … The Twelve … 12 men.  Jesus could have used the angels, the military, mob force, anything He wanted to spread His message.  But His focus was specific, and He used 12 men under the power of the Holy Spirit as powerful conduits carrying the Gospel throughout the world.

The Twelve could not have known this at first, but they were called to four responsibilities …

First  – –  SALVATION

John 1:35-37
The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”  When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.

Second  – –  MINISTRY

Jesus had taken several of the men to fish – in the wrong location, according to Peter. But the amount of fish in that catch almost sunk the boat!  It was then that Jesus gave the men a new commission:

Luke 5:10-11
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.

Third  – –  APOSTLESHIP

Mark 3:13-14
Jesus went up on a mountainside. He called for certain people to come to him, and they came. He appointed 12 of them and called them apostles. From that time on they would be with him. He would also send them out to preach.

After this The Twelve embarked on several evangelistic trips, after which they remained with Jesus for the rest of His time on Earth.

Last  – –  MARTYRDOM 

This took place after Christ’s resurrection, of course.  Aside from Judas’ suicide, all but one was murdered.

These 12 common men fulfilled their purpose and changed the world.  Against all odds, they took the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every corner of the known world.

So I got to thinking about OUR purpose.  What have we been called to?  Certainly we have been called to SALVATION … have you accepted Christ’s free gift?

We have also been called to MINISTRY.  Sure, we most likely won’t be traveling the world preaching, but we can change our “world.”  I have been struggling lately at work, but what has given some comfort in my difficulties is that I know I am exactly where the Lord wants me to be at this time.  And in that confidence, I continue to strive to have the ministry God wants me to have at that place, at this time.

Twelve ordinary men with ordinary jobs going to work each day to support their ordinary families.  Wait a minute … that sounds very familiar!  Similar lives, but different …

Are you willing to answer the call?


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