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.
It’s here on the heels of the call that we see Christ’s:
In verse 5 we read these words: “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions”It’s not about the individual it’s about being involved.Which means that we who are disciples have to make one of two choices. We can look at the ministries of people like Peter, Paul, the ministries of Billy Graham, Rick Warren and Max Lucado, those we consider to have effective ministries and we can say: Their ministry is so effective, I would never be able to do what they are doing. I have so many weaknesses. There is so much about the Bible I do not know. I’m afraid people will ask questions which are too hard to answer. What if I say the wrong thing? I better leave it up to others. We could do that. But if we do we are making it about us and denying the power of Jesus. He hasn’t called us into His family, so we can watch others serve, He has called us to serve. I think that is an important lesson, that God’s calling upon us all is to do simple acts of selfless service in his name quietly. Second who does God call? I think that is another lesson. Does God only call the extrovert, the flamboyant, the charismatic, the Peter’s and the Paul’s? Does God only call the uniquely gifted and the especially talented? What about the introverts? What about quiet people, whose ‘quiet’ is part of their personality? What about people who don’t feel like leaders, but they are great followers? How about people who aren’t good at giving directions but can follow them? Those who learn by observing quietly and who prefer to stay out of the limelight? Does God call these people? God wants and can use us all. Think about the church, where would we be without people who took care of kids in nursery, ran sound, turned on the lights or shoveled the sidewalks, set up communion, or gave to pay the bills, or greeted people with a friendly smile? The message of James life is that all of us are important. There are no second strings in God’s kingdom and that reality should affect the way we see ourselves in God’s plan. It’s here that we also see who’s in:
Look who is in charge, it was Jesus who sent out the 12. Today we make it about the individual instead of the Instructor and His instructions. Look at Christ commands:
- Go to the lost sheep of Israel
- Preach “tell” about God’s kingdom not yours
- Serve others and meet their needs both the: Physically sick – Those with disease and the Spiritual sick – Those in bondage to demons.
- Give freely “Give as freely as you have received”Don’t hold back
- Remain unburdened. Take the message of the Savior not stuff. In order to serve the Savior we need to let go of the stuff. Today it’s the stuff that stifles our serving.
- Bless or move on – It’s not about the results but the response. It’s not about us its about Jesus, did they receive or reject the Savior.
What matters is not that others know who I am and what I have done but that they know who Jesus is and what He has done. Is your life a reflection of your accomplishments or the Almighty? Many of us are very much like James son of Alphaeus who represents the vast majority of people, key players in the kingdom, yet whose actions are unrecorded and unknown. We need to remember that discipleship is not an issue of performance but obedience. What about you are you making it about you being known or about Jesus being known?