A few days ago I was scrolling through LinkedIn and came across someone asking the question, “Which disciple are you most like?”
I didn’t know how to answer.
You come to know the temperament and attitude of a couple of them based on stories that directly revolve around Christ, but there were 12 disciples and I really only “knew” about 4-5 of them.
I decided to research the disciples. I started with the New Testament and went out from there. There is a lot of information from archaeologists and Bible historians. There is also a lot of written and oral tradition that come to bear in this study as well.
Since this is not a scholarly paper I will not be citing my references (in modified Turabian format as Bible scholars seem to like). I am using many of my books from seminary as well the Bible the support my information. Don’t worry, neither Google nor Wikipedia were used as sources.
Over the next 12 posts, I will give you a little information about each of the disciples and then I will tell you who I feel I am most like. It would be really cool if you commented on here with who you are most like and why you think that.
There were 12 original disciples. They are the foundation of the church. In Revelation 21:14, the Bible says the twelve walls of the foundations of New Jerusalem will have the names of the 12 disciples. These 12 men were his closest disciples. After Jesus’ resurrection, He commissioned these same men to carry the gospel message to the world.
These men were not perfect. They had attitudes and tempers. They doubted. They betrayed. They were not the religious elite. Not one was a scholar or rabbi.
They were ordinary.
God chose these ordinary men.
Today there are over a billion professing Christians in the world and they can all trace their roots back to this original group of 12 men.
I like how J.D. Greear says it in a sermon I once heard from him:
“What was it about them? And as I begin to study about these people, what I found out about them was if you were picking teams, you would not have picked them! If you were sitting in a room and going ok, “we’re going to start a movement that is going to turn the world upside down. Who do you want to start with, this group? ABSOLUTELY NOT.” They were cheating tax collectors, they were salty fishermen. They had no creativity. They had no strategy! They had no education, no formal training. None of them had seminary degrees. None of them had preached sermons. They weren’t professional ministers. They had no influence. They had no relevance. Oh God help us.
They had no money. They had no power. They had no facilities. They didn’t even have a start up kit.”
Never has a larger assignment been given to a less qualified group of people!
But here is what they did have:
- They trusted God and did what He said.
When you think about the context of that statement alone, it is a pretty radical concept. Today, in modern day America if we say we are trusting God and doing what He says then we are probably choosing Chick Fil-A over McDonald’s or we are going to work for Hobby Lobby instead of Whole Foods Market.
In their day, it was dangerous!
What is the first thing Jesus told them to do?
He told them to go back to Jerusalem and wait. What happened in Jerusalem? Well, 40 days earlier the people of Jerusalem made it painfully clear what they thought of Jesus and his followers as the crowds screamed “CRUCIFY!” at the top of their lungs.
Basically, Jesus just told them to go back to the place where their leader had been murdered.
- They had a passion that unified them.
Today’s church has passion. There are even entire conferences called Passion. But many times our passions are divided, not unifying. These disciples unified around one thing, spreading the gospel across the world.
- They were in prayer because of their desperation.
Think about it. Up until this point they had Jesus right there with them to talk to, bounce ideas off of, and learn from. Now, they had to go to prayer. This must have left a desperate hole in their hearts and that led to significant prayer.
- They had the power of the Holy Spirit.
God’s presence was still with them, even in His physical absence. This gave them the power they needed to turn the world upside down.
So over the next 12 weeks I will break down each of the disciples and then tell you which one I believe I am most like. Yep, I am keeping the surprise until the end.
So enjoy as we dig through the Bible and outside sources to learn a little more about each of the disciples together. Next week, Peter.