Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jesus Chooses [His First Round Draft Pick]

Eeeny-meeny-miney-MO.... ;) On Tuesday night we returned to the Gospel of Luke and, since we go section by section straight through, I was a bit stymied for discussion since all this passage said was Jesus went up a mountain, prayed, came down and chose his twelve disciples [out of the 70+ who were there]; we are then given their names, most of whom we NEVER hear from again.

Not very exciting, is it?

Then I began thinking about it. Then I saw what was going on in basketball this same week. So I wrote the following lesson.

It ended up being VERY encouraging to our group, especially the benediction in the end.

I've linked that so you can see what we saw. As the apostle Paul wrote later on, "God chooses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise."

And we are foolish, kids. Good thing God does not ask for competent men and women, but rather seeks to be glorified [i.e. 'made famous'] by grabbing up the most foolish of all!

Here's the lesson:

Jesus Names His First Round Draft Pick
It's basketball season and everyone is watching to see what fine player will go where, play on what team, and for how much.

I used to sneer at such pomp, but now I see it contains excitement and value to the fans. These players will, very likely, make the team they are on succeed or fail. They, as a unit, are going to change the face of the game for the next season. Their competitive abilities will make or break a franchise. And it is not just how well they can play but also how well they can work with the other team members. Personalities are involved, not just performance.

Before men chose their teams, God chose His, says Ephesians chapter one.

And also here, we are told, that Jesus chose His team – to preach and teach, to share the Good News and bring life to the dying; to cast out demons and set captives free.

The Twelve. What an awesome pick they were – because, as we learn, they were NOT awesome in and of themselves, but became so, because they were used by God.

Amen.

Read in the round

Luke 6:12-16
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night
praying to God.
13 When morning came, He called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom He also designated apostles:
14 Simon (whom He named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot,
16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.


1) What action did Jesus take before choosing His crew? Where did He do this? What does it remind you of?

2) Is the number of men He chose symbolic in some way? [Read Genesis 49:28, Exodus 24:4, Exodus 39:14, Joshua 3:12, 1 Kings 18:31] What is the difference between a disciple and an apostle, if any?

3) How many times are there two disciples with the same basic name? Can THAT teach us anything meaningful about God? Why are their names listed, do you think?

Benediction
Deuteronomy 7:6-9

Additional Notes:

Various Thinkers and Leaders on Encountering God

    C. S. Lewis, hopefully not thinking about the internet....
  • An "impersonal God"– well and good. A subjective God of beauty, truth and goodness, inside our own heads – better still. A formless life-force surging through us, a vast power which we can tap – best of all. But God Himself, alive, pulling at the other end of the cord, perhaps, approaching at infinite speed, the hunter, king, husband – that is quite another matter. There comes a moment when the children who have been playing at burglars hush suddenly: was that a real footstep in the hall? There comes a moment when people who have been dabbling in religion ("Man's search for God!") suddenly draw back. Supposing we really found Him? We never meant it to come to that! Worse still, supposing He had found us? –C. S. Lewis
  • God is not who you think He is; He is who He says He is. –Clarice Fluitt
  • Since God created man in His own image how often has man endeavored to render a similar service to God? –Voltaire
  • You must not lose confidence in God because you lost confidence in your pastor. If our confidence in God had to depend upon our confidence in any human person, we would be on shifting sand. –Francis Schaeffer
  • God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners. –Kierkegaard
  • I am so tried by the things said about God. I understand God's patience with the wicked, but I do wonder how he can be so patient with the pious! –George MacDonald
  • God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. –Voltaire


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I hope this lesson helps you to see your value to God comes from His love for you, not your performance or abilities.

Amen.

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