Share This Episode
Grace To You John MacArthur Logo

The Master's Men Part 1: Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, and John B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 25, 2022 4:00 am

The Master's Men Part 1: Andrew, James the son of Zebedee, and John B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 710 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

July 25, 2022 4:00 am

Click the icon below to listen.

Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
A New Beginning
Greg Laurie
Finding Purpose
Russ Andrews
Cross the Bridge
David McGee

So you find two things that stand out in John's life. The word love and the word witness 80 times use the word love 70. Sometimes the word witness in one form or another. He was always going witness to the truth and always the teacher of love and so on. In the pages of Scripture and by examining their lives. You discover that God uses people with all sorts of personalities all sorts of flaws to do great things in he still doing that today on this edition of grace to you. John MacArthur continues his look at the 12 people closest to Christ. He calls them the Masters men this series on Christ's disciples will show you how these ordinary men were chosen and refined and empowered by the Lord and how God still uses ordinary people today so now with the lesson here is John MacArthur, James the son of Zebedee several incidents stand out and I'll show you where James is mentioned in the way he acts in Matthew 20 very often zealous people are also ambitious people there very goal oriented, very task oriented.

Then came in, the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons and their Dragon along hundred skirt tails and they wanted something and so she says to the Lord grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on the right hand that on the left and I kingdom would you put my boys on the two thrones. Next you I mean it. The implication is.

It's obvious to you that there are the cream of the crop resident mother right.

My children are gifted is not apparent we can see it, Zebedee, and I mean they are the ones who have the seal is about Peerless and Peter had a lot of zeal, but he also has some problem mean he would deny an bailout.

James and seem to have that same problem. Peter faltered here and there but seems as though James just resolutely tedious when he was dead in 14 years and we just got rid of him fast. He didn't knuckle under. At all didn't equivocate. He didn't compromise. And boy, he could see his ambition. I'm going to the kingdom man and not only to the kingdom, but right to the right hand.

Jesus is you know what you're asking. Can you drink the cup that I'm gonna drink all sure we can write you will in verse 24. The fever pitch was reached in the argument over who was going to get what in the kingdom.

They all started arguing Jesus went a little lecture on what real leadership is, but they were ambitious. James was ambitious.

This is a terrible thing for them to do to arouse the spirit of rivalry to clamor for honor from the Lord. These who were the persecutors of the Samaritans are now ambitious, self-seeking place hunters stalking the favor of the Lord as if you were some despotic ruler who could dispense his patronage on some kind of principle of favoritism. They were demeaning Christ and his kingdom. James had zeal. He had great fervor. He knew the Lord special interest in him.

He was in the inside group. He felt he ought to have an equal reward for all of his capability. The Lord reminded them you'll get a reward James, but will be what you think before you get your throne, you're going to get a cup and you're going to drink it all away and the cup is suffering because the way to the throne is always the way the cross and James as I said 14 years later got his request. He wanted a crown. Jesus gave him a cup.

He wanted power.

Jesus gave him servant hood.

He wanted to rule Jesus gave them a martyrs grave look at the one incident in the Bible where he appears alone next 12 now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hand, effects certain of the church and would Herod want to attack the church.

He went right for the main guy and he killed James the brother of John with the sword as we go for first and he put Peter in prison. It was James. He was after the son of thunder. He was filled with zeal was filled with ambition was filled with strong and intolerant feelings.

He didn't like things outside his own sympathy and Christ had to harness all of that and make all of that into something useful and make him a pillar in the church.

What kind of people does God use uses the great leaders like Peter uses the quiet, behind-the-scenes, obscure, faithful people like Andrew and he also can use the brash, courageous, ambitious, zealous, sometimes loveless, insensitive, selfish people.

I James is Christ brought his temper under control he bridled his tongue.

He directed his zeal, he taught them to seek no revenge and desire.

No honor for himself and finally came to the place where James is willing to die for Jesus. So both the brothers drink the cup for John. The cup was a long life of rejection and a death in exile for James. It was a short flame and martyrdom. The Romans had a coin years ago on the coin was an ox in the ox was facing an older and the plow and under the oxen said ready for either. That's how it is in-service for Christ and that's how it was for the Sons of thunder. There is the moment dramatic sacrifice on the owner that was James.

And there is the long furlough of the plow that was John with both of them drink the cup, James had to learn sensitivity he had to learn to quiet his ambition but he did and God used your lack of sensitivity can just destroy a ministry that many people who try to serve Christ to our utterly insensitive to their congregations to their families to the people around them.

One such man was a Norwegian pastor's story is very interesting.

Get Amato's model was all nothing. All or nothing anywhere around preaching and hurling out lightnings and screaming funders on everybody he was stern and strong and powerful and uncompromising it utterly insensitive when he said that he is his people in the church didn't even care for them because he didn't care for them.

He was so ambitious he wanted to advance the kingdom you want to uphold the standard of God, and it was just blind to anybody else came down his own family and he had a little girl just a little tiny girl who was ill and the doctor said you must take her out of the Norwegian cold where she can come to a warmer climate so she can regain her strength or she will die which he answered all nothing in state and she died and when she died. The mother was so distraught and so shattered. She found 11. Her husband, but it noted all of her love on this little life that she would sit for hours in the chair holding the close of the little baby and fondling them, feeding her starved heart on those empty garments missed and go on for many days until her husband took them all out of her hand and gave them to a poor woman in the street but his wife and tucked underneath her little bonnet which he kept is the last vestige of the memory. He found that gave that away to and gave her a speech on all or nothing in months.

She died of grief which stupid insensitivity that kind of thing on mellowed is only tragic you can be insensitive to the people around you, a tragic where I think Billy Sunday, the great evangelist all of his children died in unbelief all utterly insensitive to the ones around him while he was running the world. There are many pastors and evangelists in Christian people who aren't even listening to what's going on in her own house and the people around them who are so oriented to the task that they missed the people zeal within sensitivity is so cool and James had to be refined from any had to get from the place where he said just burned out bar they don't cooperate them up to the place where he cared what kind of men does God use what kind of women does God use what kind of people fit into the plan.

Dynamic people like Peter leaders who can get everybody to do it. Hello, people like Andrew who just do quietly behind the scenes and James you need other people to do it.

They just do it with zeal and passion seeming working as always, people you have to be one of the hail will have to be a stained-glass you be just a person person. These are very common people because he can transform all of those things. Finally, the last individual and when I can spend much time on him will see him, he intersects the story throughout the New Testament because of the fact that he wrote the gospel of John for second, third John Revelation, but I want to have at least briefly meet John, James, brother. Now, may I hasten to add. We think about John we think about some meat mild hail skinned effeminate guy lying around with his head on Jesus shoulder sort of looking up with a divide stair with little skinny arms and no and euphemistic folks, if that's what you think he was in all those incidents about James that I just read you and he was one of the Sons of thunder. He was intolerant, but Lord, he was ambitious. I want to see on your right and left. He was zealous he was explosive but I think not quite as much as James. James seems to be the prominent one, and John does seem to have a side to him.

I mean, at least John lasted he lived till nearly the year 100.

He outlived everybody he was explosive to know it's interesting to note that the only time he appears alone by name in the Gospels keynote is doing. He's mad at somebody that's right, John Cousy met at some guy was cast out demons in Mark nine. Why was he mad. He said to Jesus, he said there is a man casting out demons and he's not in our group. He's not in our group. II forbade him to do that. I told him listen fella, cool it here on our group. He was sectarian when he was narrowminded. Johnson is what I told him to be quite one in our group waited that's unbending that's narrow that is ridiculous intolerance when I was John you know something that became a strength in his character because he also had a tremendous capacity for love and you show me a man was a great capacity for love and no sense of the truth, and no limits and no guidelines and no strong convictions and also you disaster of tolerance and sentimentality. So God knew that the greatest source of truth in the New Testament as far as human authors concerned about love would have to be a man was also strong and uncompromising or his love would take him down the road of sentimentalism if he was to speak the truth in love. He had to be as much committed to the truth as he was the love and so you find two things that stand out in John's life. The word love and the word witness 80 times use the word love 70. Sometimes the word witness in one form or another. He was always the witness to the truth and always the teacher of love and so he is the personification of speaking the truth in love. It's so good that his love was controlled by his witness by his truth. He was a truth seeker. He wanted to know the truth. He was a discoverer he was a visionary.

He was to first recognize the Lord of the Lakeside of Galilee. Pete was to whom God revealed the future in the Apocalypse. He was the seer, the visionary, the true seeker reason he was hanging around Christ's breast was not some kind of sloppy, sickening sentimentalism what it was was in his heart literally hungered for the truth as well as the deep affection for Christ you want to gather every word that came out of his lord's lips as well as bask in the light of his love. So he became a lover but a lover, whose love is controlled by the truth and that control was born out of that tremendous zeal he had in his personality that passion that strength that fiery character in case you don't think he is you try reading for second and third John and see how he denounces those who are antichrist and those who will stand up in church and the church to twist and pervert he's firm. He strong you read the Gospel of John and see how he sets the people of God against the people of Satan, the redeemed against the lost how he talks about the judgment of the righteous and the unrighteous.

The man knew where the lines were drawn in his love is never sentimentalism but is characterized by love you just don't see much about them in the other Gospels elicits with James. As I showed you, or in the list of the group, where he emerges is in his own gospel, and he appears in his own gospel several times always the same way. How was John 1323. Another was leaning on Jesus bosom. One of his disciples whom Jesus loved, whom Jesus of the disciple of Jesus love that's John, he never uses his name. He calls himself a disciple whom Jesus loved Ellison the man had a heart of love and a man who has a heart of love understands love and is a great capacity to give and receive love. People who can love greatly can be loved greatly because they understand, and John literally took in the love of Christ and gave out the love of Christ. So he called himself a disciple whom Jesus loved. That's the only thing ever call them in the 19th chapter 26 verse he appears again. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple standing by, whom he loved same disciple of Jesus love chapter 20 verse two, then runs and comes to Simon Peter, Mary, Magaly does, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved chapter 21 verse seven. Same thing. Therefore, the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, verse 20 Peter turning about sees the disciple whom Jesus love verse 24. This is the disciple who testifies these things is the disciple who Jesus love that wrote the gospel of John. That's what he said he literally was in all of the fact that Jesus loved and was in a sickly sentimentalism.

It wasn't that he said oh I'm so wonderful. The Lord loves me so much I just want you to know on the disciple. He loved non-it was the very opposite. I want to want to burn up all the Samaritans by the one who wanted Jesus to give me the place I didn't even deserve. I am one whom he loves celebration of grace. Jesus never had to ask John if he loved him, but he did have to ask Peter that Jesus never had asked John to follow him, but he did have to ask Peter that I wanted came down to passing out the work. He said the Peter feed my sheep. He said to John, take care of my mother. There was something special about John.

Tradition tells us John never left the city of Jerusalem until Mary the mother of Jesus died because he kept his vow to the Lord. So John was a son of thunder, but he was a tender loving man would never compromise his convictions. He taught on love.

You could summarize the theology of John about love and the 10 statements he taught that God is a God of love. He taught that God loved his son that God love the disciples that God loves all men the God is love by Christ that Christ love the disciples in general that Christ love individuals that Christ expected all men to love him that Christ taught that we should love one another and that Christ emphasizes love is the fulfilling of the whole law and those themes run through all of his writings and you can also see the truth thereto hear the word witness again and again and again and again as he affirms the witness. The witness the witness to the truth.

He speaks of the witness of John the Baptist.

The witness of the Scripture. The witness of the father. The witness of Christ, the witness of the miracles. The witness of the Holy Spirit in the witness of the apostles, always speaking truth speaking truth in love, and so the Lord can use that kind of me. The man with great love. There are the James who just live their life on passion, zeal, fervor, fire sparks flying everywhere, and there are the John Sue can harness the truth in love and bill last and attract people to Christ. God uses all kinds fiery lover, whose love is a passionate devotion to the truth you live to be an old man but he was always a son of thunder, because with this. So what kind of people does use what kind of people to draw on intimacy with him. Who are the stained glass saints what you have to be to get really close to Jesus. Think of this when God came to the world and walked in this world God, the God of the universe the living eternal Almighty holy God. When he walked in this world. He picked out for people to be close to him for men to be close to four men to be his intimates. One was dynamic, strong, bold, a leader like Peter who took charge, who initiated plan to strategize to confronted, who commanded people to Christ, and very often blue mother was humble, gentle, inconspicuous Andrew wouldn't see the crowds, but he saw the individuals in the crowds. And while he never attracted a mob.

He kept bringing people to Jesus and then he picked Amanda was zealous, passionate, uncompromising, insensitive at first ambitious, who could see a goal and go for it with all his might and die in the process.

James then there was sensitive, loving, believing intimate John every bit a truth seeker who spoke the truth in love so that he attracted people to himself and he made them in the fishers of men. In spite of what they were. Peter was finally crucified upside down by his own request. While unwavering in his faith in Christ Andrew tradition tells us that Andrew had the privilege of preaching in a province and the governor's wife received Jesus Christ as her Savior and the governor was so upset that he demanded his wife reject Christ and when she wouldn't.

He crucified Andrew tradition says he crucified them on X.

That's why X is the symbol of Andrew and X shape cross in the traditional history tells us that he was on that cross for two days and as he hung alive for all those two days. He preached without ceasing, the gospel of Christ in the midst of his agony still trying to bring people to Jesus tradition tells us the James when he was on her way to being beheaded by the Roman sword had along the guard who had guarded him and the guard was so impressed with his courage and constancy and zeal that he repented of his sin and fell down at the apostles feet and asked if the apostle would forgive him for the part he had played in the rough treatment. James received, at which point James lifted the man up embraced and kissed him and said, peace my son peace to the in the pardon of thy false tradition says immediately. The officer publicly confessed to surrender to Christ and was therefore beheaded alongside James, John, banished to the island of Patmos. After a long life, died around 98 A.D. during the reign of Trajan and those who knew him best said the echo of a constant phrase was their reminder of John and this was the phrase my little children love one another.

What a group ordinary with all the struggles all the strengths and weaknesses of men like us. Yet in the power of Christ.

They were transformed. What kind of people does God use any kind. Listen to this new, it is not what you are is what you are willing to become.

That is the fishermen of Galilee did become fishers of men on a most extensive scale by the help of God.

They gathered many souls into the church since their casting their nets into the sea of the world still by the testimony to Jesus.

They gave in the gospel and the epistles they are bringing multitudes to become disciples of him among whose first followers they had the happy privilege to be numbered was Christ to take a very common person and make them a very uncommon apostle. This is grace to you with John MacArthur extra being with us. John has titled our current series. The Masters men.

It's one of his most popular and requested studies John, today we saw that James was passionate and ambitious and at times insensitive and of course in a previous lesson. We saw that Andrew was quiet and humble and willing to let others have the spotlight so the personalities of these two guys could hardly have been more different. Would you say there's a lesson there for believers in terms of the kind of person God uses to do his work. Yeah, though the lesson is nothing.

No two people are like God has designed us with the are sort of hardwired tendencies and personalities that I think you come into the world the way it with certain God-given created characteristics that differ from person to person to person and then of course there's that part of experience that kinda shapes how you think and react to the world.

So the combination of your your sort of hardwiring in the soft wiring that comes through your experiences makes everybody unique. I have always said that every believer is like a spiritual snowflake there. No two alike, and the death of the body of Christ function so well because we all have a role to play. We all have a part to play in our uniqueness. One other way to look at it is this Christ is the consummate person. No person could be like Christ. But collectively the body of Christ sort of fills in all the attributes of Christ. Some of us are more aggressive. Others are more passive and yet in Christ. You see the aggressiveness and the pure and beautiful and magnificent patients that he had with sinners that doesn't often come in the same person but it comes in the body of Christ and the blending of so many people learning to see God's work through many lives in many different ways is an exercise that you can really go through in the Bible that led us to produce a new book called 40 lives in 40 days. It's a book that will do just that in 40 days it'll take you through 40 characters and you can lean in and learn from them and learn how God use them. They're all unique people like Jonah Rahab Sarah Eve Joseph Gideon Paul Enoch Sampson and others end of the final chapter is on the most precious person of all the Lord Jesus Christ. So get a copy of 40 lives in 40 days hardcover 220 pages, you can order from Grace to you and free shipping. By the way on US orders. That's right, friend.

This book makes clear, you don't need amazing talent, intelligence or charisma to serve the Lord.

You just need faith to help cultivate greater trust in the God who works through ordinary people. Order 40 lives in 40 days when you get in touch today. Call 855 grace or go to GT

This book 40 lives in 40 days makes an ideal complement to John's current study award to your personal devotions to pick up a copy for yourself or for a friend call 855 grace will go to GT Y.and at our website take advantage of all the resources.

Therefore, you do want to know what the Bible says about how to honor God and honor your spouse in your marriage or what the issue of sovereign election is all about, or how to deal with the trials you face and how to minister to a loved one who might be suffering all of those issues, and countless others. You will find local answers in the grace to use sermon archive. That's 3500 full-length sermons all available for free download right now. You also find daily devotionals and insightful blog articles and much more. Web address again.

GT now for John MacArthur on Phil Johnson inviting you back for tomorrow's broadcast. When John looks at how God uses common people just like you to build his church. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth in one verse at a time on race. Do you

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime