Choosing the Twelve, Luke 6:12-19 ESV, Buck Mills, Teaching Team

Luke 6:12-19 ESV 

Choosing the Twelve

Intro:

Tough decisions are a part of life. I remember when I was young thinking how hard life was with all the responsibilities and decisions. Now that I am a grown up, I can look back and see that I was sorely wrong. It has been my experience that the responsibilities and decisions in life do not get any easier as we age. One of the ways that we teach our children is by guiding them in their life choices. It is wisdom to gain perspective from those who have gone through situations in life that we may be entering. This type of wisdom requires a relationship. No one models this relationship with His Father greater that Jesus. 

Luke 6:12-19 ESV

“In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.”

Chronology & Parallel Passages:

The parallel passages are Matthew 10:1-4 and Mark 3:13-19. These passages primarily relate the names of those who were chosen. Although, in Mark we will see how the events had an impact on Jesus’ earthly family.

Passage:

Luke 6:12 “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” 

  1. What days were referred to when saying “In these days”?
    1. Jesus was in Galilee around the northern part of the Sea of Galilee where He made His home at Capernaum. This region had mountains that rose up from the sea. The sea of Galilee itself sat about 700 feet below sea level and the mountains around Capernaum rose to about 2500 feet above the sea.
  2. Jesus went to the mountain and prayed all night.
    1. Jesus went to the mountain. Later we read that He came down and stood on level ground. He went up the mountain to pray to God before choosing the twelve. This was a big decision as they the ones who He would later commission to go and teach everything He commanded.
      1. Moses also climbed a mountain to be with God. On the mountain, God gave Moses the commandments by which Israel should live and the blueprints to the tabernacle.
      2.  When we have to make a big decision in life, what does it look like to climb a mountain to be with God? 
    2. Why did Jesus have to pray?
      1. Was this just an example to his disciples and to us of how to live a life of righteousness?
      2. Jesus’ life is an example to us, but His prayers also reveal a heart of love toward His Father. We see this in all His recorded prayers and especially in John 17.
      3. John 17:1-5 “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”
      4. John 17:10-12 “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
      5. John 17:25-26 “O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
      6. This type of love for our heavenly Father drives us to prayer.
    3. What does it take to do anything all night?
      1. Before being betrayed and handed over to those who would falsely accuse Him, Jesus prayed, again at night, on mount of olives and asked some of His disciples to pray with Him. As He prayed earnestly, the sweat poured out of Him, meanwhile His disciples were falling asleep. They could not stay awake to pray.
      2. What did they lack, motivation, perspective, discipline? We have read many times about Jesus drawing away to desolate places and praying, so this was not necessarily a new feature of His life and ministry. The way that we as humans develop in different areas is through discipline. Prayer was a spiritual discipline that Jesus maintained throughout His life. 
      3. Paul considered himself a slave to Christ and said he had to discipline his body for the sake of winning lost souls. He likens this discipline to that of an athlete. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control,[b] lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”

Luke 6:13-16 “And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.“

  1. He chose twelve from the multitude of disciples. 
    1. Instead of getting blueprints to build a physical temple, like Moses. Jesus was given the twelve Apostles as the bricks upon which God would build His church, Jesus being the cornerstone and the capstone. 
    2. The church transcends national boundaries, ethnic barriers, racial divides, and social constructs. If our trust is in anything made by man and which serves the world’s purpose, then it is an illusion.
    3. Twelve is a prominent number in Jewish history. It relates to the twelve tribes of Israel. Here Jesus is establishing a renewed Israel. This would not have been lost on the disciples present. Yet they did not understand the spiritual implications as they were still eagerly awaiting Jesus to make them into a physical kingdom. The Holy Spirit had not yet descended upon them. 
    4. Mark 3:20-21 “Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.””
      1. We see that His family was concerned for Him. Or they may have been feeling the pressure from the community about how He was acting. 
      2. It is also possible that they were those among the multitude of disciples following Him that were better qualified to be chosen. But He chose the twelve in submission to the Father for a reason.
  2. Who were the twelve?
    1. 4 were fishermen- Andrew, Peter, James, and John.
    2. Matthew was a tax collector.
    3. Simon was a Zealot, possibly a politician or revolutionary.
    4. Judas Iscariot was the one who handled the money among the group and was called a thief and an embezzler in John 12. He eventually betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
    5. The Bible does not provide much information on the others, but Thomas, Nathaniel and Phillip may have also been fishermen as that is what they were doing when Jesus appeared in John 21.
    6. This was a ragtag group and hardly one that would have impressed the Pharisees and their scribes.
    7. If God can use fishermen and tax collectors, then He can use you! It is not as if they lived perfectly after being chosen by Jesus. Peter, who was named first in all lists of the Apostles, denied Jesus three times in a short span. All but John had scattered and hid when Jesus was being crucified. Luckily, It is not what we know but who we know that matters. After being restored by Jesus and receiving the Holy Spirit, Peter spoke boldly as recorded in Acts 2 where 3000 were baptized and added to their number. 
  3. One abnormally born.
    1. Judas was replaced by the eleven early in Acts, but later we see that Jesus Himself appeared to a Pharisee named Saul of Tarsus, who became Paul, the Apostle to the gentiles.

Luke 6:17-19 “And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.”

  1. Plain could be a plateau and there are some that think this is a shortened version of the Sermon on the Mount. Scholars debate as to whether this and the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7 are the same or separate teachings. 
  2. There were many with Jesus, including His disciples, who came to hear His teachings and be healed.
    1. Jesus was not just teaching and healing but was feeding them spiritual food and providing living water for their thirst. 
    2. It is important that we not lose sight of the reward that awaits in heaven and work to seek our reward on earth. As physical beings, it is easy to get sidetracked by the desires of our flesh. 
  3. They sought to touch Him because power came out from Him.
    1. In our flesh, we desire food for the body, but in John 4 Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”  Then Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
    2. I can only imagine the sight of our Lord Jesus and the power that shown from His presence. It is my hearts delight to seek the Lord and to gaze upon His beauty. He is the source of life and Whose imprint exists on everything that was made. His power has shown in this world since creation and will shine in all the glory of the Father when He returns for His Church.

Applications:

  1. Be Fruitful
    1. Jesus’ life was full of fruit as He lived by the Holy Spirit.
    2. For us, fruit is both evidence that we are His and that we are abiding in Him. Let us set our minds on these things.
    3. Colossians 3:1-2 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
    4. Love – God & Others, must be our hearts desire. 1 Cor 13
    5. Joy- The joy of the Lord is our strength and transcends happiness. My joy is to be in His presence.
    6. Peace – The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    7. Patience – We may not understand the will of God for our lives in each moment, but trust that you will receive what He has promised.
    8. Kindness – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
    9. Goodness – As we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. 
    10. Faithfulness – This saying is trustworthy: “For if we died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful. He can’t deny himself.” 
    11. Gentleness – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer anyone.
    12. Self-Control – Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
  2. Discipleship
    1. We have discipleship small groups where we meet, but all who are born of the Spirit are disciples of Jesus. He has given us His Spirit that guides us in all truth. 
    2. One area of discipleship that is personal and unique is how we submit to the Spirit on a daily basis. 
    3. Submission to the Spirit will align our will to God’s will and produce fruit. Not only should we set our minds on things above, but desire to do them as opportunities arise.

Prayer: That each one here today will set their minds on things above and submit themselves to the work of the Holy Spirit and produce fruit according to the will of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Benediction

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”

Communion:

1 Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for[f] you. Do this in remembrance of me.”[g] 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”