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The Twelve Apostles (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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April 13, 2021 6:00 am

The Twelve Apostles (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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April 13, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 3:13-19)

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Pastor Rick Gaston

This is not the age of miracles or miraculous intervention. These are the days that we live in, are the days of divine revelation, divine truth, divine reason through the Word of God and truth is to be what we offer. When I became a Christian, I realized very quickly what was keeping me from becoming a Christian was I didn't have the truth. This is Cross-Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross-Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. And now here's Pastor Rick in Mark chapter 3 with his continuing study called the Twelve Apostles. Healings of bodies is always second to souls. Keeping people out of hospitals is good, but keeping them out of hell is better.

Jesus said, for what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? This goes also for the casting out of demons. It is important, but it is a secondary priority. A secondary priority, again, does not mean that it's secondary and there's no benefit. It can be very important.

The hand is secondary to the heart, but I'm going to keep my hand with all my heart. So a point made by our Lord here is this. Demons are real enemies, and they must be confronted. We confront them primarily with truth nowadays and righteous living. That's how we battle the demons that are leading people to hell with their lying ideas and misinformation about Jesus Christ. How many times have you had to say to an unbeliever, where in hell did that come from?

Because it did not come from heaven. Again, preaching still must come first. But emotionally driven Christians struggle with this. Again, they just want to feel, you know, they want to feel the salvation. There ain't so much faith. Faith is, I have it whether I feel it or not. And there will be times when you're very strong and you feel the faith, but there will be other times you can't find where Jesus is.

That was Job's problem. I go to the left, he goes right. I go right, he goes left. He's avoiding me.

He runs at me like a warrior. I mean, Job was going through it. And yet, he said, I know my Redeemer lives and I shall see him. And when he comes through and we, you know, the minute you mentioned Job, the emotions react to that. Miracles tend to breed a craving for more miracles.

That is a fact. It's like talking about me. Talking about me creates a craving to talk more about me. One of the problems with therapeutic counseling. That's why we try to limit the counseling here.

Well, let me correct that. We do a lot of counseling here. From the pulpit. This is where it's supposed to be hitting you. Well, the Holy Spirit comes along and says, you know, that's you. You do that. Why do you do that? No, I'm not going to go upside your head. I want to go upside your heart. I want you to work on this. And so, yeah, we have individual counseling available.

But if we sense for a moment you're becoming addicted to that, it has to be cut off. The Bible, at this point in history, the New Testament, had not been completed. Before this, the prophets, their words were validated through the extraordinary, through miracles.

That's how you knew. We were covering Samuel on Wednesday. Samuel calls for thunder, and it happened. God validated his office. But today, the access comes through the complete Word of God that we have. We reason from the scripture.

Even Isaiah, you know, come let us reason. Though your sins be red as scarlet, I will make them as white as snow, unless you don't want me to. And if you want me to, I've got to do it my way, not your way. Human beings are responsible to believe truth without demanding miracles. When you begin to get up in God's face and say, I won't believe you unless you do this or that, you are on a fool's ground, and I would encourage you to depart and just consider the facts. Because truth is cold when you don't like it.

It's very nice when it's working for you. But it's not so good when it is convicting you unless you submit to God. And truth is no less truth if it is refused. It retains its veracity. It does not say, okay, you didn't like that one.

Let me adjust it for you. So this is not the age of miracles or miraculous intervention. These are the days that we live in, are the days of divine revelation, divine truth, divine reason through the word of God. And truth is to be what we offer. When I became a Christian, I realized very quickly what was keeping me from becoming a Christian was I didn't have the truth. I had hearsay.

I had experience. I had observed some people that said they were Christians and were actually kind of loony and deterred me from coming to Christ. But when I came to Christ, the truth set me free. The Christian life is to be dominated by truth. That's why we fight sin.

That's why we hate it. Because we know what is going on. Well, verse 16, we still have quite a bit to go. We meet these characters. Verse 16, Simon to whom he gave the name Peter. Now at the time that he called them to their apostolic office, he had not given Simon this name. That would come later when what we know, for example, is Matthew 16 up in Caesarea, Philippi, when Christ calls him Petros. Peter though, as we're going to call him, Simon Peter, he comes first in all the list of the apostles.

Some of the other ones they move around, but Peter is always first. He was outspoken. Yeah, we know that. He was impulsive. He was warm hearted. We get that from the book of Acts.

We get it from his letters. Devoted to Christ. But here's something else Peter was.

All of them were. In spite of whatever they encountered, Peter was brave. Love makes us brave. That's what would allow a mother to stand up against incredible odds in defense of a child.

Love makes us brave. And Peter was. And so was Thomas.

And we'll get to him in a moment. But the Greek word for Peter, Petros, it means immovable rock. Bottom line, as opposed to Petra, an immovable rock. The Lord is the immovable rock. But Peter, of course, is a smaller stone. But a stone nonetheless, and he wore that name with great delight for the rest of his life. The Lord, the Lord was, name is nature.

And it is identity. And it's unfortunate that nowadays there are no nicknames. I mean, not good ones. I mean, Rick the Great.

Why not? But anyway, you look at the old days, like the old baseball players, they all had these, you know, nicknames. Because people paid attention.

And they would identify a characteristic and you got it. And it wasn't mean-spirited. Not, you know, in the proper context of what I'm saying. Paul, when he writes to the Galatians, he refers to Peter as Seifas, which is Aramaic for the Greek, Petros. See, the language is all over the place. And that is the indication that Jesus more than likely spoke in as a primary language in the Aramaic. Well, verse 17, having now covered Peter briefly, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder. You don't hear Boanerges every day.

And you're glad about that, I'm sure. James, the son of Zebedee, we covered these two when Jesus called them from fishing, but we still have repeated comments to make on these two men. James is the first to seal his love, the first of the apostles.

The first of those men whom Jesus stayed up at night praying over to bring them into his circle. James is the first to seal his love with his blood. And Herod killed James with the sword.

Probably chopped his head off. John, the brother of James, he is the last to die as the apostles that we know of, because there's a lot of information not available about the other men. John wrote about 20 percent of the New Testament. James would show us how to die, John would show us how to live. And of course, these men of thunder, to hear he says, you know, Boanerges, to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder. Again, that name came later, not at this moment here. Luke chapter 9, and when his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them just as Elijah did?

That's probably what got them the name. Now, why didn't the Lord say, sure, go ahead, let me see you do it. That would have humiliated them. They would have really, your face is getting red there, James, John, no thunder. So he let them off the hook. But isn't that sort of a cute indication of how these men were thinking, do you want us to call fire?

Sure, go ahead, burn up the city. And of course, he says, you don't know which spirit you are. And that is not convicting to all of us. You will get the practice that you who are driving when we leave, and those of you sitting next to the driver will probably get a chance to practice you do not know what spirit you are. Who hasn't been convicted by that? Okay, Lord, I'm not asking you to kill the guy. But can you go halfway?

That kind of stuff, not good. Verse 18, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon, the Canaanite. Now, let's start with Andrew first. Kind of remarkable character. He's the man with the countenance. He's the man with the look in his eyes. Because when he went and told his brother, Peter, we have found the Messiah. There was something in his face, in his voice, in his eyes that Peter could not dismiss. What if he said to Peter, all we know about Peter, hey, Peter, this is guy down. He might just be Peter.

Well, when you prove it, come let me know. No doubts, no question marks, no halfway conviction. When he met Christ, he and John, after John the baptizer had appointed Christ to them, John the apostle and Andrew the apostle now, they met with Jesus and they knew. Then there's Philip.

I like to refer to his stumpy because he gets stumped by a question almost every time we see him. The first one comes when he goes to his friend, Nathaniel. We have found the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. And Nathaniel says, can anything good come out of Nazareth?

And Philip is quiet. Come see. I don't have an answer.

I don't know. You just need to come see, which is a really good platform for sharing your faith, is getting someone to see for themselves. The next time we come across him being stumped is when Jesus asked him a question directly. How are we going to feed these multitudes, bread? And so he just starts calculating. Well, let's see, two and three for the loaf of bread.

He just agreed. I can't, Andrew finally, you know, there's somebody here with some fish. So Philip missed it. Then we see the Greeks come. Sir, we'd like to see Jesus. Can we have a meeting with him? He goes and gets Andrew. Instead of saying no or yes or he just goes and gets Andrew. We never see him answering a question.

In fact, now this is not beating it up. This is what the Bible shows on him. He couldn't even ask a question. Show us the Father and it will suffice. Philip, said Jesus, haven't I not been with you so long? He has seen me, has seen the Father.

If you looked at me, you'd see God. So, haven't I not been with you so long? Couldn't answer that one either. So, Philip, it's kind of cute about that because I think we all see ourselves at times stumped. Sometimes in series I can't answer that one.

I can't answer. We get stumped. But there he is, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, hand-picked out of how many people were on the planet Earth on the day these men were informed, you're going to be with me now. And out of all the billion people or so, however many were here, 12 made the team.

That's remarkable. So I asked myself if I lived in Galilee, would he have picked me? Would he have picked you?

And if he picked you and didn't pick me, I'd be pretty upset. Bartholomew is next, an alternate name for Nathanael, and they did carry alternate names. They had nicknames, they had pet names, you know, which is not far, you know, not quite the same, but necessarily. In the Synoptics, he is Bartholomew.

Why don't some of you parents name a little Bart? Anyway, in John's Gospel, John doesn't mention Bartholomew, he calls him Nathanael. Now we know he picked 12 men, not 13, 14, 15, so these names are reconciled by the fact that he picked 12 and we have to make a match, and it's really not that difficult. We covered that in the introduction of the Gospel of Mark with even John Mark's name and how these men had two, three names. Thomas Didymus, in the old King James Version, the twin. He's the missing man. When all the apostles were gathered in the upper room and Jesus came in, where was Thomas? Thomas was not the man that doubted, Thomas was the man that was brokenhearted.

He threw his life into following Jesus, and then he was gone, murdered in public. What was he to do? He said, I'm done.

I'm just done with this. He wanted to be alone, and that's what he did. And in that time of sorrow, he missed the Lord showing himself. But the Lord in his mercy came back, and Thomas didn't know what to say. When Jesus said, here's my wounds, Thomas, I heard what you said.

You need to stick your finger in my hand. I mean, that made sense, but you know, go ahead. Thomas believed. He said, my Lord, my God. He wasn't saying, it wasn't an exclamation, oh my God, something stupid like that.

He was saying, you are my Lord, and you are my God. And of course, the Lord said, blessed are you, Thomas, because you see and you believe. But others, others will believe without seeing. That's why we're in the age of truth and reason according to the scripture, and not saying, well, we want to believe because of a miracle.

That's not the pattern laid out for us, and it's hard. And don't let anybody tell you it's not. Anybody that's telling you Christianity is not hard has not lived Christianity.

But it's worth it. And thus we have that, Lord, you are worthy to be praised. In the midst of all my confusion and suffering and anger and being denied things that I want and I can never have, I still love you. I still believe you.

I still follow you. I still renounce the flesh. I still hate sin. And what can the devil do against that?

Nothing. Matthew is next. We covered him in chapter two, regarded as an apostate Jew by most Jewish people, traitors to the country. Their money was tainted.

Their testimony would be refused in a court of law. They forfeited their Hebrew value. And they became collectors of money for Herod and for Rome. Yet Jesus shows, and they were you could say businessmen, Jesus shows that he loves even the corrupt businessman just as much as the widow with two mites. It's a way back. He brings Matthew in.

It's amazing. Now the businessman who wants to remain corrupt is what can Christ do? Nothing. But for the ones that would turn, he takes them. James, the son of Alphaeus, also called James the less or James the little. He could have been like calling him Shorty. I worked with a man years ago, but he was short and his name was Shorty and he was a great worker and a really nice guy.

He didn't take offense to being called Shorty because he was short. And that might have been the case here with this James to distinguish him from the other James. They come up with these names. Everybody was named James. How many of these guys? Well, you know, we have cultures in the Irish culture, a lot of Dannys, a lot of Michaels, a lot of Johns.

So you have to distinguish them. Thaddeus is next. Lebbeus is also, he's also called as an altar, and he's also referred to as Judas. Judas was a name that was popular. It was corrupted of course by Iscariot, but it means praise. Judah, that's what it means. And many of the men were named this. Jude, the brother of the Lord, Judas.

And the church scrambled to fix that too. They stopped calling people Judas after Judas Iscariot. Jude became very popular. So Luke's Gospel Chapter 6, in giving the names of these apostles, Judas the son of James. And here it is, James the son of Alphaeus. And he names him in Luke right next to Judas Iscariot the traitor also. So Judas the son of James and Judas Iscariot who also became the traitor. And as I mentioned after the defection of Judas Iscariot, the name Jude or Judas took such ill association with Judas that they had to change it. And the New Testament writers made every effort to make that distinction between the faithful men and Iscariot.

Simon the Canaanite is next, not from Cana where the wedding of Cana was with Christ where he, you know, turned the water into wine. I would have liked milkshakes if I was there incidentally. I would have gotten vanilla.

Not too thick though, I wouldn't be able to. No, no, let's go. We do. We don't see what we want on the menu.

We start asking for it, right? Can you do this? All right. This Simon the Canaanite distinguishes him from Peter. Simon Peter, Simon the Canaanite. And as I mentioned he's not from Cana of Galilee but this is an Aramaic word meaning zealous. And this is what he was, he had zeal for what? Well likely the law of Moses, possibly going with that, also against the Gentile occupation. He was likely a zealot. There were many political sects or parties, some started by priests in Israel, ultimately ending up in the zealots that fought viciously against Rome, against the Romans coming into the temple and when they conquered it in 70 AD or just destroyed it.

That fight went on for years and it was brutal. But those were not Christians. And Luke's gospel, Luke says it this way, Simon called the zealot and he probably had a great desire for the law of Moses and a great desire to execute that law against Gentiles which is probably what was a big part of Judas stumbling. So we go on to verse 19, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him and they went into a house. So the last one named is a thief and a traitor and a devil. John's gospel chapter 12, he was a thief and he had the money box and he used to take what was put in it. That was written years after with irritation that you know what, we liked that guy, we trusted him, we didn't know he was ripping us off the whole time. He is never named first, he is always named last, rightfully so. Luke's gospel chapter 6, Judas the son of James, that is Alpheus, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.

This is big. Judas, to Judas, Jesus was a big disappointment. He had such high hopes for Jesus.

We better watch that. He was disillusioned, so he sold them out or tried to provoke something. How did he feel when they tried to make Jesus the king and Jesus said, boys, we're getting out of here. What, this is your chance, you could be king of little Magdala here and then we could just start moving it and building the kingdom and get these Gentiles out of here and you can make me like, you know, the secretary of commerce or money.

Yeah, I like money. That was the mind of Judas. He saw this life, not too much into the next life, and in the end, of course, he realized this life is disposable. The next life is indisposable, and eternal life is what it's all about, getting into heaven.

That is what life is all about. So Christ did not overthrow the Gentile occupation and establish his messianic rule and his arresting. I mean, after all, if he can do all these miracles that he's doing, if he can walk on water, what's a Roman legion to this guy?

Why doesn't he use these superpowers to make Israel the world power? The other 12, they stayed focused on Christ. They waited, they worked, they followed. Acts chapter 1, therefore, when they had come together, they asked him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?

That tells us that that was on their head. The Jews thought Messiah was going to come and restore the kingdom, and he is going to, just not then. He continues in Acts chapter 1, but you shall, Jesus now speaking, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and Judea, Samaria, to the end of the earth. But Jesus didn't want any of that.

He wasn't interested in being a witness. He wanted to be a ruler. He could not wait, and so he became known as the son of destruction, condemned eternally. It was his choice to go, as they say in the book of Acts, to his own place, and that ain't heaven.

Iscariot can mean from Kirioth, man from Kirioth, or it actually can be an Aramaic slur, meaning the false one. And finally, they went into a house. Time to eat. After being up all night praying and establishing these men as his close followers, his apostles, and then he'll have an inner circle of Peter, James and John.

Now back to get a little rest, go inside the house, and begin again. Thanks for tuning in to Cross Reference Radio for this study in the book of Mark. Cross Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross Reference Radio. You can search for Cross Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the book of Mark, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-02 11:26:48 / 2023-12-02 11:36:29 / 10

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