It is important to connect the choosing of the twelve to the message Jesus gives them. Those who identify fully as disciples are those Jesus designates to send, and they are to go into the world and show it a different way to live. It is a life marked by sacrifice, rejection and others focus; life lived by the power of total association with Lord Jesus Christ. The ‘Twelve’ set the pattern were are to follow…what we are TO BE: transformed priorities, attitudes and actions.
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.
This scene takes place during this early time of traveling and preaching
He pulled and ‘All Nighter’…
He need to have undivided fellowship with The Father
The significance of choosing ‘Twelve’ (12 tribes of Israel)
Rag-tag group of ‘Non-Elites’
Why choose such people?
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.
He ‘Stood’ with them, they ‘Stood’ with Him (Total Association)
Those who were learners / followers who would then be ‘sent’
The power was abundant because the faith of His ‘posse’ was abundant
20 Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
This message is for those who as identified as ‘His Disciples’
You have to surrender your life to Him in order for this stuff to make sense
Poor here and now, rich in eternity
Eternal blessing flow from a poverty of Spirit which results in surrender to God
Lacking creature comforts here VS the satisfaction of eternity with your Creator
The road of discipleship is not one of luxury & fun but the destination is worth it!
22 “Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.”
If the opposition know who you are that is a sign you are the ‘Real Deal’
Your reward: You are saved for eternity by your true ‘unconditional surrender’
You’re in good company; those who spoke for God no matter the consequence
There is no comparing human accolades and heavenly rewards
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. 25 Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you, for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”
‘WOE TO YOU… if you’re holding on to this world & it’s standards / pursuits
In that context to not suffer in the least meant serious wealth
People speaking well of you proves nothing: words are bought
False prophets were propped up by people to gain advantage by their lies
27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
The act of listening involves hearing, understanding and application
Act counter to your basic desires and self interest
Don’t base relationships on what the other person does, YOU do what is right
Leave your life and what you get in God’s hands…
Isn’t that what we say we do when we surrender our lives to Christ?
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.”
Love that requires reciprocation is not love in God’s economy
If your good deeds are done only to get something in return that’s self-centered
Lending and getting repaid is just business, not charity
In both cases those living without the influence of God can do them
35 “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
We who are disciples of Christ are to live exactly the opposite way of the world
Our reward is not to come from others but from our Creator
We are His children when we trust HE will take care of us
When we are truly His disciples HE will use us to bless those in rebellion to Him
His mercy doesn’t make sense by human standards
We are to be imitators of this other-worldly mercy & kindness
We are only able to live like this by yielding to God’s Spirit in us
Only way to have God’s Spirit is a life surrendered to Christ
What keeps you from being ‘totally associated’ with Christ and being ‘sent’ by Him
What is the relationship between your commitment to Christ’s discipleship & healing?
Are your priorities more aligned with here and now or eternity?
What are some specific ways to trust God more and rely on what you can do less?
When you live with open hands and a open heart, like God, what kind of things happen?