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The Messengers of the King

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 18, 2022 4:00 am

The Messengers of the King

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 18, 2022 4:00 am

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I want to just explain to you some of the things behind his preparation and calling of these men, but I want you to see how they apply in your own life. I want you to make them directly applicable you because I really believe that we're going to look at the way Jesus prepared and these 12 and it is a tremendous pattern for our own understanding of the site. Disciples while you're probably familiar with names like Peter James and John, what about the others. Men like Bartholomew Thaddeus and Simon the zealot, why were they chosen what made them stand out as potential servants of the Lord. John MacArthur starts addressing those questions today as he begins his study he calls the Masters men now as a starting point. John talk a little bit about why it's valuable to look at these men, is it their flawless character with her unwavering faith that makes their lives worth examining. As you know through the years. This has been one of my very favorite series on the Masters men and the book on this particular theme, 12 ordinary men has been one of the I think three best-selling books of all the books I've written through the years and the reason this is so interesting and the reason the lives of these men are so valuable to us is because they are frankly so ordinary, literally the Lord used ordinary men to turn the world upside down.

This is just a powerful series. It comes from Matthew 10 through the years. Whenever we put this on the radio we get a landslide response. You learn how the Lord chose the 12 how we transformed their weaknesses into strengths which was no easy job and how we use the people that most would think were really not the best raw material and in the process will find out about leadership and love. Encourage agenda humility and commitment and power in faith and impulsiveness and how the Lord pulled all those things together mold men who advance the kingdom in the first century with power and literally did turn the world upside down and the same Lord is still picking up common people and using them to build his kingdom. Somebody said why does he use common people so often and I said because that's the only kind. There are when it comes to divine operation. You've got a picker fallen sinner converting and then find a way to use them. And that's what the Lord does, you will learn from the Masters men. How the Lord will train you and how you can be used to influence others for the kingdom.

It's a great series once you get started. You kinda get caught up in the individual stories of these very well-known 12 disciples.

That's right great and encouraging stories and friend if God can use the disciples rest assured he can use you to show you how Jesus transformed his closest followers and how he can change you. Here's John MacArthur with today's lesson with great joy. We come to the 10th chapter of Matthew.

This chapter is marked the first verse by the calling and the commissioning of the disciples in chapter 10 is the record of their initial sending to assist in warning men of the inevitable harvest of judgment.

Now the major thrust of the passage begins in verse five. But before we get to verse five we have to really be fair about looking at the first four verse the race simple in terms of what they say and yet hidden behind them is some tremendous richness that I want you to see. I just want to mention three features of the first four verses three elements of the commissioning of the 12 first, their initiation in verse one there impact in verse one and then their identity is given in verses two through four SE names all 12 of them now as we look at this. I want you to do some thinking with me if you will.

I want to just explain to you some of the things behind his preparation and calling of these men, but I want you to see how they apply in your own life. I want you to make them directly applicable you because I really believe that we're going to look at the way Jesus prepared and call these 12 and it is a tremendous pattern for our own understanding of disciples.

First let's look at the initiation and want to spend our time mostly on this.

The initiation of the apostles and we only have one statement and when he had called unto him his 12 disciples, he gave them authority or having called unto him his 12 disciples, he gave them authority. As I was reading that and having called on the him his 12 disciples. I began to think now how did he do that. How did he initiate this. How did he get them involved. How do you get them to the place where he called them, and then sent them will first of all, look at the phrase itself. The verb is cross collateral and the simple term, elements to call cross means toward some intense word it means to call someone toward you, so that your face-to-face with them. It has the idea of a face-to-face calling so that one can receive a commission from the other. This is an official commissioning.

He called them before his face to give them commands to give them a commission to send them to instruct them at the same word used in the 13th chapter of acts, verse two where God was calling those leaders who were in the church in Antioch and official if you will, commissioning, so it's time now for the commissioning of the disciples, and if you notice verse two he says they are the 12 apostles there. The disciples in verse one of the apostles in verse two they were disciples when there were learning. There were apostles when they were sent disciple means learner monthly taste means learner apostle is apostolic means to be sent. First, they were learners and they were sent and so this is their transition from being learners in verse one to being sent in verse two they been trained another sent.

Our Lord is calling them to work with him is calling them to gather some of the lost in Malden exhausted and prostrate shepherd list sheep before the reapers, who are the Angels. It tells us in Matthew 13 come to cut them down and take them and throw them in the fire of judgment. It's time to evangelize.

It's time to preach the kingdom. It's time is verse six says to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and going to preach and tell them the kingdom of heaven is at hand. So this is a critical point in the training of the 12 and I want us to focus on that for a moment there were basically four phases in Christ training of the 12 numbers to give you these briefly number one was their salvation or their conversion and if you look some time. Not now, but some other time at John 135 to 51 you find there. An illustration of the initial calling to faith or calling to conversion or calling to salvation that our Lord used in the lives of these 12. He called many, but there it pinpoints several of them in John one were well known to us, and that is the initial calling. They were called to believe they were called to Christ in a conversion since, but then after that they went back to their jobs back to their secular employment back to their homes and there came a second phase and that is recorded for us in Matthew chapter 4 verses 18 to 22 and this was phase 2 in the training of the 12. He saw two brother and Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishers. He said under them, follow me and I will make you fishers of men. Now they had already been converted.

I believe they'd already been saved in the sense that we believe in conversion or salvation. They already believed in Christ.

It already affirmed that he was the Messiah as they did in John one, but now he is calling them to leave the next and to leave the secular employment and to leave their homes and to follow him exclusively and totally. This is their calling. If you will, into ministry.

They been called to salvation is phase 1, another call to attach themselves to him permanently as phase 2 is going to make them into fishers of men. If if you like to see this in perspective, this was their education are called out of their employment. They were called away from their livelihood and their grown men.

They were called away from everything they ever knew about making a living and they were called to follow Jesus around for three years to be trained. This was their schooling and by the way their training encompassed a lot of people forever. Jesus went there was a large number of disciple.

Some stuck around and is according to John six.

Some left and followed them no more. But in the midst of this group were these special 12 and they were being trained along with everybody else and perhaps even more specifically, because the Lord knew that the 12 were special. Now there is 1/3 phase of their training of their calling first to conversion. Then to ministry. Thirdly, they are to be sent out and that's where we come in verse one of chapter 10, this is not the final phase. This is the third phase and this is a sending out and Mark tells us they were sent out 2 x 2 they were ready to go alone yet. They had to have one another along for support and may I also add that the Lord stuck with them very closely in phase 3. He was like a sort of a mother eagle watching his eaglets as they begin to fly. He was always there and are always checking back in overtime, and let them know how it was going. This was their internship. This was the time for them to go out on their first short-term missions assignment and get a feel for how it was out there to do an internship and then after a season of this personal labor. They returned to the Lord and they remain again a long time with the Lord being taught and taught more and more, and by the way they learn better now because they had been out there and they knew where the trouble was, and they knew what they needed to know, and there was a little more desperation when they came back scarred a little bit from this first shot at being on their own, and there was 1/4 phase of the training of the 12, and that was after the resurrection, and after the ascension when Christ went back and have any sent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit came into them, and they then scattered and went into all the world discipling the nations, and that was the final sending of the 12. So there was a conversion phase. There was a calling to himself or training phase.

There was a first experience phase and then there was a final sending and as we come into chapter 10 we are in phase 3. This is their first experience alone in the field and he doesn't want to mount very far but just far enough to learn where the troubles going to come from their initiation into ministries. We call it the initiation they were handpicked by Jesus from all the other disciples who followed. He knew they were to be the ones even handpicked Judas because that fit the prophetic plan as well.

He chose these 12 men to be the ones who would go throughout the world to establish the church and verify his Messiah ship and affirm his resurrection from the dead, as well as his atoning death, he taught them and taught them and taught them and taught that they might be the representatives of the dynamic of the gospel. Now in the process of training them. Phase 2 and phase 3.

Jesus was basically overcoming five manifest problems that they had and I will talk about these five problems are very common in the process of disciple. I know the Lord is working with me because in a small sense. I am one sent. I'm not an official apostle nobody is today, but I'm also sent the word is still true of me. I've been sent to preach the word so if you and as I look at how the Lord works in my life. I can see parallels as to how we work in their life. And one thing really excites me and that is that he didn't have a lot to work with in their case, and he still does.

In my case and that's very gratifying. He really had scruffy group of guys.

In fact if if some phony religionist had written this gospel.

If Jesus was some fraud trying to convince everybody of his perfection and convince everybody that he was God. He never would've picked 12 such crummy characters that hang around because by the time you get to the end of the story wonder whether he could never pull it off with them and some people might question his ability on that basis alone, some marvelous insight into the honesty of God as he sees Christ dealing with men were weak and will see that in a minute. But as we moved to that. Let me just tell you little about the training process and a little about their initiation and a couple things in the background. First of all, they were chosen sovereign that is apparent they play a critical role in the history and eat of the world and in eternity as well and got it all laid out so that they were chosen sovereignly.

It says in verse one. He called on to him his 12 disciples. In fact, in Mark 313 is a wonderful statement. It says he called unto himself, whom he would was his choice. His will is sovereign purpose.

There was no executive search.

It was a now how many of you would like to be apostles. Wasn't if you can't succeed if your lousy fishermen maybe like to go to the ministry wasn't that they were called by the sovereign will and purpose of God. He knew the many wanted and they were not consulted, and neither was anybody else consulted, but God the father. It was foreordained like Abraham like Moses like Jeremiah was foreordained, like Isaiah was foreordained like John the Baptist foreordained like the apostle Paul who was called in the ministry.

Against his will, and so did Jesus say in John 15, ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you, that you should go forth and bring forth fruit sovereignly. God chose these individuals and that is always been God's pattern.

He chose Israel he chose the apostles and he chooses his church and he chooses those serving within his church so that we who are representing him are the called according to his purpose and may I add something to they were sovereignly chosen, but secondly they were chosen after a night of prayer. Yes Christ chose whom he would, but marvelously and wonderfully in his submission to the father. It occurred only after he sought the father's will.

This is such a wonderful thing in terms of discipling as we select those that will pour our life into it should be only after great prayer, so that God can show us who it is that we are to give ourselves to listen to Lou 612 and it came to pass in those days that he being Jesus went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

He prayed all night. Then this. And when it was day he called unto him his disciples, and of them out of the whole group. He chose 12 whom also he named apostle. They were chosen sovereignly. They were chosen after a night of prayer as the submissive son in his humility sought only the will of the father and in John 17, he affirms that indeed they were the ones the father wanted given by the father to the son he says I have manifested thy name unto the man whom thou gavest me out of the world find they were, and thou gave us them to me. John 17 six he affirmed that they were the gift of God so these very special men very special were chosen by God and affirmed by the sun. After all night of prayer. So they were chosen sovereignly. They were chosen through prayer and thirdly this is what I want to focus on. They were chosen to be trained to be trained.

Training is an essential part. They are chosen just to be sent out.

There has to be a training time and for them it was a training of three years walking with the Lord. They left their nets. They left their boats. They left their crops they left their businesses. They left their tax collecting stands. They left everything and they wandered around behind Jesus and some of croissants. One writer says they have no occupation. They've given up the pursuits in which they were engaged there fishing there tax gathering in their agriculture they carry on the business, they simply walk around behind their leader talking to each other or to him and when he speaks to the people who begin to gather.

They listen just like everybody else.

The only thing they do is go with him from place to place. They are idle and it begins to be a question whether it's not doing harm and giving rise to reproach that 12 grown men are being kept idle for no apparent purpose in neglecting obvious duties in order to do so and 12 grown men just roaming around like a bunch of freeloaders. I suppose you could look at it like that but on the other hand, it has to be training there a lot of people who are called to Christ and may be called to the ministry in their like the guy jumped on his horse and rode off madly in all direction, they just want to go. They don't know where her to do what. But Jesus knew they needed to be trained to be taught to become disciples must they taste learners before they could be sent Moses spent 40 years being trained.

Paul only three years in these three Moses must've been a very tough case. Some of us have spent three or four or five years in seminary.

Others have spent years and years, not a formal education but learning the word of God. Many being taught by another Christian, but there has to be a training time before one can be sent. I can't imagine any greater thrill than to have been trained by the Lord himself.

Can you money when I think about that.

It's just mind-boggling to just walk around in John Matthew 1129 he said to the group, which included them learn of me. Oh my, what a training lesson learning doesn't happen because you sit in a class in here lecture learning really happens when you watch a holy man or a holy woman walk through life. That's when you learn learn from the pattern in the consistency of life and that's what discipleship is. It is a 10 weeks in a class it's walking with a godly person and feeling their heartbeat and hearing them speak in seeing them praying and spending time now be frankly wasn't an easy job to train this bunch the best of them. Their leader Peter still and have a clue what he was doing, even after the resurrection they were really a defective bunch and it's good to see their defects because it gives us hope that God can use us. Now let me come to the five things I think Jesus had to work with to overcome and to go see them in your own life. They were chosen sovereignly. They were chosen.

Also, by prayer and were chosen to be trained and in the training, the Lord had to deal with five basic inadequacies and it's the same with us, and it's the same with the people we decide number one, they lacked spiritual understanding. That's pretty tough to start with right your work 12 guys into a van utilizing the whole world only that one basic problem, they do not understand spiritual truth. All me that's a tough way to begin. But that's exactly what had they were blind. They were sick they were dull. They were stupid.

They didn't understand the parables you know II just can't help but chuckle every time the Lord says to the do you understand this and what they always say yes Lord always say that yes, Lord, did they understand no they didn't understand but they were so dull they did not know they did not understand, and so they always say yes Lord, we understand they didn't understand the parables. They didn't understand the precepts he taught was so hard to get through all of their prejudices and their preconceived attitudes. Peter said to him in 1515 explain unto us this parable.

And Jesus said, are you also he had without understanding we don't you understand he had certain frustration. There is a rebuke that you got it yet in Luke 18 is to show you how this goes on throughout the whole time. Later on in their time together. He took them aside verse 31 of Luke 18, he says behold were going to Jerusalem and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the son of man shall be accomplished and that should've been at the right of all things written by the prophets concerning the sentimental become is wow. We got that we can figure that we know what the prophets tried to be delivered to the Gentiles. He said Macht spitefully treated spit on scourge put to death in the third day rise again.

All the stuff that had been presented in the Old Testament somewhat explicitly in some veiled all be fulfilled.

In verse 34 and they understood none of these things.

None of know if I were the Lord at that point. It's a are you sure these are the right 12.

We've been together a long we could leave understood some of this, none of this, but all the while they were saying yes Lord, we understand will be full by those who think they understand what you say. Be sure they do they didn't grasp the parables, he didn't grasp the precepts and as I pointed out that they didn't even understand the suffering of Christ in John 13 Jesus humbled himself and wash their feet and Peter said you'll never wash my feet and Jesus said to them, Peter.

You don't understand what I'm doing to you don't understand what you understand. In the future lack of understanding that's part of the discipleship process you have to overcome that. How did Jesus deal with simply by teaching. Teaching.


Teaching. Teaching fact when he came back after his resurrection, for 40 days to ask once has he taught them the things pertaining to the kingdom of heaven just teaching. Teaching. Teaching teaching.

He dealt with their lack of understanding by instruction don't have to be naturally smart or charismatic to be used by God as John MacArthur Chancellor masters University in seminary showed you today God change the world with ordinary people. The Masters men. That's the title of John series here on grace to you will friend the Masters men is one of John's classic series. He lays out a clear pattern of discipleship.

How you can disciple others and how Jesus disciples you to digest this important teaching at your own pace. Download the entire series for free at our website or order the seven CD album when you contact us today our website There you can download John's current series, the Masters men, or another study or any of his 3500 messages. John has a sermon covering every New Testament verse, and much of the Old Testament or to purchase the Masters men.

Seven. CD album perhaps give to a friend go to or call us at 855 grace and let me remind you that John has written a brand-new devotional on the 12 disciples, and many other heroes of the faith. It's titled 40 lives in 40 days.

Each chapter examines a biblical character God's providence in their lives and how God used them to accomplish his extraordinary purposes. Despite their many flaws.

It's a great resource to supplement your personal Bible study or to use for family devotion to get your copy of John's brand-new devotional 40 lives in 40 days. Call 855 grace or go to now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson encouraging you to come back for our next broadcast when John looks at how Jesus helped his disciples overcome their greatest weaknesses.

Join us for another half hour of unleashing God's truth wonders at a time on grace to you

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