Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. 2 Here are the names of the twelve apostles:
first, Simon (also called Peter),
then Andrew (Peter’s brother),
James (son of Zebedee),
John (James’s brother),
Matthew (the tax collector),
James (son of Alphaeus),
4 Simon (the zealot),
Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).
5 Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, 6 but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep.7 Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received!9 “Don’t take any money in your money belts—no gold, silver, or even copper coins. 10 Don’t carry a traveler’s bag with a change of clothes and sandals or even a walking stick. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve to be fed.11 “Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy person and stay in his home until you leave town. 12 When you enter the home, give it your blessing. 13 If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not, take back the blessing. 14 If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave.
There are multitudes of books written by, and about, the ministry efforts of great servants of God, Billy Graham, Rick Warren, Max Lucado. They follow in the footsteps of a long line of big names … a line that began in the New Testament with the 12 disciples: Peter, James and John the Sons of Zebedee. These are the names which come to mind quickly and we know quite a bit about them. But we also know that there are others less known. Last time we talked about Matthew the despised sinning scum and today we are going to talk about the unknowns but not unwanted in the kingdom of God. The next three disciples are the least known and for two of them there is nothing but their names recorded. Because there is so little said about them most pastors lump these three together into one message,but we will be looking at them one at a time focusing this week on James son of Alphaeus. As we search the scripturesfor information on James we find nothing but his name. Four times we find only his name. Four occasions, yet just one name in a list of names. He is a complete unknown, even his name gives us little to go on as James was a common name. In a day and age when everyone displays themselves to the public on Facebookand we long for everyone to know who we are it seems strange that James Son of Alphaeus is given so little attention. Especially when we remember that he is a disciple of Jesus. That’s a pretty important position to hold. Ephesians 2:19-20 tells us that God’s household is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ Himself as the chief cornerstone. The church is built on his ministry but what did he do? There seems to be nothing distinguishing or special about him, yet in uncovering nothing we discover everything that we really need to know. James may be unknown but he was not unwanted and he was called by Jesus. Today there are many who feel like nobodies, but while you are unknown bymost you are not unwanted by the Master. Today as we discover everything in the nothing we are first reminded that its really all about Jesus.
Verse 1 tells us that “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him”James significance is not found in his capability or career but in Christ’s call. Our significance is found in the Savior. At the heart of wanting to be known is the desire to be wanted and belong. Jesus calls us to himself, the Creator is calling. Today many of us are working hard to get noticed to be wanted yet for James all he had to do was responded to the Redeemer. What about you will you respond and followed Jesus? It’s not about my performance but the Power of Jesus. James accomplishments were not a result of his own ability but a result of Christ’s authority, “Apart from me you will accomplish nothing” John 15:5. The most important thing to know is that “Jesus wants you.” So, what did James do: He said yes to Jesus! It’s not about our results it’s about the Redeemer. James witnessed first-hand wonders which can only be imagined. He heard the tone of Jesus’ voice … and saw all the facial expressions. He witnessed Jesus’ tears of sadness … His smile. He was there when the miracles happened … the blind seeing, the cripple walking, and the dead coming to life. He lived with the Lord. What about you are you doing life with the Lord? All we know about him is his name … and the name of his dad: James son of Alphaeus. But that is enough because it’s not really about James it’s about Jesus. What about you, are you trying to find your worth in your accomplishments or in the Almighty?