Discipleship and The Unfantastic Twelve

And he called to him his twelve disciples…The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Matthew 10:1-3

Imagine the intro to your favorite superhero show. Spiderman, X-men, whatever it is..

It usually starts off with this fantastic image of this superhero who can do anything and has amazing powers and just absolutely looks the part, right?

Now, imagine the show “World Changers: Jesus’ Disciples Set Out to Change the World,” and the intro video shows the lives of those listed above. There’s Simon the fishermen, Andrew, another fishermen, Thomas the doubter, Matthew the tax collector, and Judas, a crooked betrayer.

And the end of the intro ends with an emphatic announcement: And these are set out to change the world!

Not very impressive right?

The more I do discipleship and try to understand it in reading the gospels, I’m just completely dumbfounded by Jesus’ plan. I mean…what was Jesus thinking when he chose twelve ragamuffin men to be world changers?!

I don’t know if he could have picked a more…underdog group. I mean they all have their issues. They’re not very smart (Peter’s comments), they bicker with each other (James and John), one’s a thief and steals money from the ministry (Judas), and all of them eventually show that they lack the allegiance and desert Jesus after three years.

Jesus, seriously, what were you thinking?!

But as I read on beyond the gospels, and onto the book of Acts, I see the end result of Jesus’ great work in those three years. My goodness, those guys are absolute world changers! They did more than a 180; they did a 720, a couple of backflips, and a summersault!

I’m so convicted by the vision of Jesus. He sees more than men at face value. He sees their destiny and is willing to work through their weaknesses, shortcomings, and consistent failures to make world-changers out of them.

And by the end of the story of the lives, Jesus proves to be the master shepherd. He is the most ingenious, inspiring, and wise discipler. I’m not saying I know the answers of how Jesus did it with these group of people, but whatever it is, I want to learn…

Phillip Chan

Phil has been writing for 10 years. His passion is to grow in his love for Jesus to obey his purposes in our generation.

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