Luke 6:12-16 (ESV)
In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.  And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:  Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew,  and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,  and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
A segment from the message I preached on Sunday, February 13.
The Apostles – Just Like Us
1. Acts 4:13 – Ordinary men
a. Fishermen – uneducated, hard working, mouths to feed.
b. A Tax collector – perhaps just like all tax collectors – a cheater, heartless, a tool of one of the cruelest empires ever to rule on planet earth.
c. A Zealot – one who thinks that the way to make the world a better place is to stage a violent revolution.
d. A thief – one who never would repent despite all that he saw.
e. Greedy, impulsive, slow to learn, proud …
f. Just twelve very ordinary men – like you and me.
g. See II Peter 3:15-16 – Being an Apostle did not mean that Peter understood all the mysteries of the Gospel. In fact, he had trouble making sense of Paul’s letters – just like you do.
2. Do not look at these twelve men as being a cut above the rest. They were not. There was nothing exceptional about them – except that Jesus chose them and molded them into what they eventually became and filled them with His Spirit so that they could become it. And dear ones – if you are called to something – and we in this church are – the conclusion we are to make is not that we aren’t educated enough or smart enough or rich enough.
a. This, dear ones, is the point. Jesus did not pick these men because of their superiority or their giftedness or their natural born talent. There is nothing about them to set them apart from others. Men with wives and children, eking out a living for themselves. Maintaining a faith, going to synagogue, travelling to Jerusalem a couple of times a year – twelve very ordinary men.
b. Dear ones – Jesus is not calling you to be an Apostle. The job isn’t open anymore. The position has been filled. But Jesus is still very much in the business of calling ill equipped, rough around the edges, … people – just like you. It is what he has always done – Moses, Gideon, David, Jeremiah.
3. Two ways we deny this
a. Never do anything because we are so sure that we are talentless. Dear ones – God calls and God equips. The humility that keeps people from serving Christ in their church is a false humility. It is pride – “I want the big job”, “I can’t do anything”(See Moses in Exodus 3:11-12, 13-14; 4:10-11)
b. Be convinced that you are the best thing that God ever gave to the world and have a plan that you expect the world to buy into or take it somewhere else. No dear ones. If God has put you into this church He has put you here to work with us and for God’s glory.