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The Master's Men Part 3: Matthew and Thomas

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
July 28, 2022 4:00 am

The Master's Men Part 3: Matthew and Thomas

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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July 28, 2022 4:00 am

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As Jesus passed forth from there he saw many Matthew and you should follow me. What is the point of putting that there the point is in verses 1 to 8. Matthew is giving a demonstration that Jesus came to forgive. Soon, and Matthew slipped himself in there in one verse to show that indeed Jesus can you with my weaknesses. My lack of ability flaws from my past. How can I get this done well today on grace to you.

John MacArthur continues his study of the Masters men profiling the 12 Jesus chose despite their flaws.

For the most significant task ever building his church, you might think that Christ would've trained an entire army of skilled leaders to accomplish such a feat, but in the end he used just a few everyday men, people like you and me. So join John now as he begins the lesson Matthew chapter 10 we have a happy privilege of focusing in this 10th chapter on the Masters men those very special individuals who were chosen by our Lord to be his disciples later to be his apostles, sent to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. It's a tremendous thrill for me and I trust for you as well. To find out that these men chosen as the personal agents of Jesus Christ. These men that we imagine so often to be stained glass saints with some kind of holy perfection that is alluded the rest of us are nothing more than people just like we are in the God is in the business of using all kinds of people to do very very high level of divine spiritual and eternal tasks. It struck me, particularly this week as I was thinking about the apostles, how few there were of them know when we think about a church having a great impact. We think about a church having a lot of people I was talking to a gentleman from Europe who said to me you know it so difficult for us because we only have 29 people in our church and he said I live in a city. The city of Leon which has 2 million people and there are only 15 churches, most of them don't have any impact at all the odds are so much against us. And yet, as you study the disciples you find that these 12 really 11 were pitted against not only the human system, but the demon system as well just 11 faithful men, not particularly gifted either. And yet these men literally turned the world upside down.

It is amazing what God can do with just a very few people, humanly speaking, the world hails the few who attack the minute you know I mean when an individual goes up against Grady's the world esteems them heroes even if they lose. We remember their courage. We remember their devotion of duty but they lost. I believe there are some more amazing things than this demand may be courageous man maybe devoted to fulfill his duty but he is still man and because he is weak he cannot overcome certain knots, but quite the contrary.

Is it when God gets into the act.

Sham gar, a judge in Israel one day picks up an ox goad a sharpened stick used a Prada Knox and with it kills 600 enemies. And then there was Deborah and Barrack, and soon after the great victory of Deborah and Barrack a new enemy arose in the land of Israel. The enemy was the Midianites and in league with the Amalekites. They sort of dominated Israel for seven years, Israel came to the place where they were about ready to give into this suppressing domination. When God raised up a very unique man by the name of Gideon. Gideon was ready to do battle with the Midianites and their allies, the Amalekites and he gathered his army and his army numbered 32,000 men. God said that's too many. That's 31,700 too many any cut it down to 300 men and judges 712. It describes the enemy in the Midianites in the Amalekites and all the children of the East lay along the valley and was the Valley of Moab and they were like grasshoppers for multitude and their camels were without number. Like the sand by the seaside for mold.

It doesn't mean that God couldn't count them, it means that standing there and looking. There was no way you could sort out heads or animals to make accounts. They were just like the sea, sand and here was Gideon with his 300, you know, one. All I did was make a bunch of noise in the Midianites and Amalekites all kill each other in the confusion.

You see when you and the supernatural, then the few who not only become heroes because of their courage and their devotion but because of their victory one more illustration and maybe this sums up the point. First Samuel chapter 13 turn to it for mold the seemingly endless struggle with the Philistines is going on, so all is the reigning monarch of the people of Israel and they again face a battle with the Philistines.

They are in a severe situation very bad and as you flow through chapter 13 it goes from bad to worse to worst. Verse 547 13 the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel 30,000 chariots 6000 horsemen and people like the sandwich is on the seashore and multitude, and they come up in a camp in McManus eastward from Beth David. Now here is an overwhelming enemy literally overwhelming enemy. When the men of Israel saw they were hedged in the people were distressed. The people did hide themselves in caves and thickets and rocks in high places in pits.

Just get the picture they see these Philistines, every dive for the nearest cover jumping in holes in caves behind the bushes, climbing hills and some of the Hebrews were seven says even went over the Jordan to the land of Gavin Gilead. They got out of the country. They left the nation's always and you will go everybody else was shaking overwhelming enemy verse eight. There seven days. According to the set times and a little born but Samuel came not to go down the people were scattered from it. You get a little antsy now and Saul said bring here a burnt offering to me in peace offerings nice getting so nervous that he's gonna do something religious to get got involved, so verse nine says he offered a burnt offering and Saul said bring this a burnt offering, and he offered the burnt offering another problem with that is there was only one personality in the land that was permitted to carry out the offering of an offering and who was it priest Saul is intruding into the office of a priest came to pass as soon as you seized offering, the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came and Saul went out the medium in my blessed nation at real religious real spiritual and sadness is what have you done that's also because I saw that the people were scattered for me and that thou came is not within the days appointed and he knew that he was a representative of God. He wasn't there and the Philistines gathered themselves together at midnight is doing all these excuses will you were here and the time was in the Philistines were there and I said the Philistines will come down now upon me to go out self-defense you want to get in. I haven't made supplication of the Lord. I forced myself.

Therefore, in other words, I just knew I shouldn't do it but I just made myself do it and offered a burnt offering the service of the solar system foolishly does not get the command of the Lord thy God, which he commanded. These were now with the Lord of established a kingdom upon Israel forever. If you just obeyed God God were defeated the Philistines and establish your kingdom for good, but verse 40 now thy kingdom shall not continue. The Lord saw him. A man after his own heart.

Who was that David the next King and the Lord commanded him to be captain over his people because that was not That which the Lord committed to your disobedience got you nothing now the problem to begin with was an overwhelming enemy. Another problem is the lack of a leader.

They not only have an overwhelming enemy, but they just lost their leader to make it worse. Verse 19.

There was no blacksmith throughout all the land of Israel.

The Philistines said Lester. He was make themselves swords and spears. Apparently the Philistines had sort of eliminated all the blacksmiths so they could make any weapons to all the Israelites. Verse 20 went down to the Philistines to sharpen every man is class charismatic and his acts in his sickle and they had a file for the circles in the Maddox the forks the axes the sharper the goes know what all they had left was farm implements, and so they were all there, sharpening their farm implements to use in this war and the only people who had a sword. It says in verse 22 were Saul and Jonathan third problem number one overwhelming enemy number two no leader number three. Inadequate weapons they really are in trouble and watch what happens.

Jonathan says to the young man bears his armor.

Chapter 14 verse one, let's go over to the Philistines's garrison. But on the other side. If you know what Jonathan Regalado take your arm of the armor bearer which is a small boy to take Kissel couldn't go do this for what's the point, verse six, kind of crystallizes that this is the key verse and Jonathan said to the young man wore his armor, let's go over to the garrison of the uncircumcised. It may be that the Lord will work for us. I watch this line. Here's the key for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by what you get.

Doesn't matter to God when you have a lot or a little that is never the issue with him. He can put all of his divine power through one person as easily as he could put it through a multitude of medical Lord were seven his armor bearer said to him do all that is in 900 turn the behold I am with the according to thy heart, that's a good little guy's a good guy. All right Jonathan says you and me. Let's go over there and take on Thursday and he says in verse 10 if they say, come up unto us and will go up for the Lord delivered them into our hand and this shall be the sign.

In other words, God were going to trust you to give us a sign if they say, will sake the Lord you given to us and will go right up Philistines rep on the heights and their down below and so they got there. Verse 11 and they said there Jonathan and Oliver verse 11. Both of them disclose himself. The garrison foresees the Philistines said hold the Hebrews come forth out of the holes within them, so now the garrison answered Jonathan his armor bearer to come up to us and we will show you something to show you your head is what they meant. And Jonathan said was our bearer come up after me for the Lord is delivered them into the hand of his that is faithful. That is, faith victories, hours, let's go, and so they started climbing up this whatever it is, Clifford Hillside verse 13 and Jonathan climbs on his hands and his feet areas crawling up the thing on for in his armor prayers coming up behind they got to the top and they fell before Jonathan and his armor bearer is through all the first letter was Jonathan his armor bearer made about 20 men. You can imagine that little guy wondered what in the world was going and always guys would drop in at his feet. I don't know what he was. You and the earth started the quake and everything started shaking and trembling, and before the whole thing was over. You can drop all the way down really diverse 22 all the men of Israel, who had hidden themselves in Mount Ephraim when they heard that the Philistines fled even. They also followed hard after them in the battle so the Lord saved Israel that day Allison, here's the point. God is not restrained by many or by few as a matter not only did God make them heroes because of their courage and their devotion but because of their victory.

Now let's go back to Matthew 10 with that as a background remind ourselves of the uniqueness of these 12 men, 12 men literally turn the world upside down.

Not only were they heroes because of their courage because of their devotion, their obedience, but because they accomplish their goal. They literally establish the church and you and I are the product of their work. They touch the whole world. They extended the kingdom. Just these 12 one of them.

Unfaithful 11. Faithful, humble, simple people just like us and we're right back where we started.

People listen. What kind of people does God use uses the common kind like we are uses the unqualified God is in the business of accepting unqualified people because nobody's qualified Lord uses strong bold leaders like Peter take charge, initiate, plan and strategize, confront, command, people, and make big big blunders and uses humble, gentle, inconspicuous souls like Andrew who seek no prominence but quietly bring people to Christ and uses zealous, passionate, uncompromising, task oriented, insensitive, ambitious men like James as well as sensitive tender loving people oriented, believing intimate truth seekers like John uses skeptical analytical mechanical old slow witted weak faith vision lists, pessimistic, insecure men like Philip uses seekers of truth, honest, open, clear minded meditative deeply surrendered men like Nathaniel Bartholomew who are full of faith and understanding, and yet who are flawed by serious sin such as prejudice known to me to others that he uses Matthew and Thomas verse three second group of forests. Philip Bartholomew or Nathaniel Thomason mythic site. Matthew first Matthew is mentioned in every list always in the same group but nothing is ever said about Matthew and nothing is ever said by Matthew. Except one tiny little thing and look in Matthew 99 and there's where you find Mark and Luke both allude to the same thing and just the same few words and that is the extent of everything we know about Matthew and as Jesus passed forth from there he saw many Matthew sitting at the tax office and he said the name follow me and he arose and followed him. And when Matthew puts his name in the list in chapter 10 verse three he says Matthew the tax collector and may I hasten to add that no other disciple in the list is ever associated with his job. Why does Matthew say Matthew the tax collector. I mean, that's not something you're proud of. No attached collector was a most hated and despised despicable human being in society.

Israel and Matthew was showing us his genuine humility and sense of sinful unworthiness. Why does Matthew even comment about himself. In verse nine as Jesus passed forth from there he saw many Matthew and he said, follow me. What is the point of putting that there the point is in verses 1 to 8. Matthew is giving a demonstration that Jesus came to forgive sin.

Verse five thy sins be forgiven the verse six the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins and Matthew slipped himself in there in one verse to show that indeed Jesus can forgive he sees himself as the vilest sinner that may be a reason why Matthew never speaks never asks a question never makes a comedy never appears in an incident he just is absolutely faceless and voiceless through the entire narrative of the gospel, and it may be that his humility was born out of his overwhelming sense of sinfulness that he was so overwrought by the sin of his life that once forgiven. Grace was so superabundant in his case that he felt himself unworthy to even speak a word, so he is the silent man until the spirit of God asked him to pick up his pen and then he is given the privilege of writing the opening of the New Testament. 28 chapters on the majesty of the King of Kings himself. Matthew was a traitor. Matthew was an extortion Matthew was a robber and the thief Matthew was greedy. Matthew was a social pariah or outcast and he knew it and look in Matthew 99 and there's where you find easy to be a tax collectors to be a public what that meant was that you as a Jew were used by the Roman government to collect taxes from the Jews to give the role you then sort of work for the oppressor. You are a traitor, first class and not only that, but you bought the right to collect taxes so you paid the government you bought into the system and then the government would stipulate a certain amount of tax. It had to be collected and that was given to Rome and then you are free to collect anything more you could from the people and that you kept for yourself. And so there were bribes and extortionist routes taken abuses beyond what we could even dream. They hated the tax collector so much that the Talmud said it is righteous to lie and deceive a tax collector. That is, the Talmud says that not the Bible. So keep that in mind, no tax collector was ever permitted to testify in a court of law because everyone knew there were liars and took bribes. No tax collector or publican could ever enter a synagogue or a temple to worship God because they were cut off from God. And that's why Luke 18 when you have the publican it says in the publican, standing afar off beat on his breast and said, Lord, be merciful to me a what a sinner he couldn't even go in the place they were the worst turned their back on their people bought into an evil oppressive system, a pagan uncircumcised system where the people worship the false God. The Emperor traders. There were two kinds. There were goodbye GABA I there were the general tax collectors.

They collected property tax income tax, pool tax, standardize, there was not. Apparently as much graft at that level. Then there were the mochas them. Okay HES they collected the duties they collected duty on everything they set up their little deal where the roads crossed and they collected on all import all export all items bought all items sold.

They set tolls on roads tolls on bridges tolls on harbors they set tolls on axles. How many legs on your donkey packages letters, you name it. Every everything I was Matthew he was a mochas text everything were two kinds of locusts.

There was what was called a great mochas.

He was a guy who hired some hireling to do the tax collecting and he faded into the background. He didn't really want to be associated with the actual activity itself in here. He retained a little more dignity because he backed off that was called a great mochas. Then there was a little mochas the small locals. He was too cheap to hire somebody to collect the taxes. He was a really did himself and didn't care about the social stigma and Matthew was that little mochas. He was verse nine sitting at the tax office, greedy, extortion, or traitor to his people and what makes it so fascinating to me. Also, he also had a name Levi which indicates that he really was in the flow of Jewish tradition and what also is interesting is that in the Gospel of Matthew, you might be interested to know there are more quotes of the Old Testament, then in Mark Luke and John combine so Matthew knew the Old Testament. In fact, he quotes out of the three sections of the Old Testament that a Jew knew the law, the prophets, and the hagiography of the holy right. Matthew knew the law of God in the Old Testament, and yet we have no idea of him at all being interested in spiritual things. But when Jesus comes along.

He says to him, follow me and he arose and followed instant disease, grace to you with John MacArthur thanks for tuning in today. John serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary in Southern California. Our current study is titled the Masters men. John you talk today about God using ordinary men to turn the world upside down is only a question related to that, there may be a believer listening now who wants to be used, to serve the Lord and bring him glory, but that person really isn't seeing how his life for her life can be making a difference. You have any encouragement for that person will absolutely in some what may be appearing to be a small way, but in reality may be a very significant way.

I think we really do believe that the power in the world belongs to the big-time politicians the people whose names are in the news. The big time philosophers and educators. The powerbrokers in the business world. The movers and shakers we we think the power in the world belongs to the great writers and the great historians and all that and the fact of the matter is God changes the world. Within the framework of his glorious kingdom using very ordinary people doing what might appear on the surface very ordinary tasks.

In reality, the people who matter in the world are the people who belong to Christ.

The people who are in the kingdom who are advancing that kingdom that that kingdom which cannot fail that kingdom which is eternal. Those are the people that matter in the world put it simply, Christians matter the history of the world really rides the back of Christian people. They're the ones that are making a difference that will last forever. It might be serving a church nursery might be visiting shut-ins and ministering the word of God, to them it might be teaching a Sunday school class in and affecting the lives of children and young people and adults might be taking part in a prayer group on a regular basis or or a Bible study serving the Lord and many many other ways and really never understanding. Perhaps this side of heaven. The impact of your life. I met a lady the other day who said to me you said something was about 25 years ago and what you said when I heard you say that caused me to be saved my whole life changed the day I heard you say that, how many times has that happened to very ordinary people in very ordinary circumstances. God always uses the ordinary, because that's always got to work with and he prefers the not many noble, but not many mighty, and the lowly so he gets all the glory for what is accomplished. That's right.

Thank you, John. That's an encouragement and friend. We trust that God is glorified as you listen to these programs and apply the biblical truth that you hear so let us know how John's teaching is making a difference in your life and thank you for expressing your support as you are able and helping us reach countless others with the word of God you can mail your tax-deductible gift to Grace to you.

Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412 or call us at 855 grace or donate online at TY.thank you for helping us strengthen believers around the world with the truth of God's word as the culture gets darker and darker.

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Spend some time at the grace do you blog you'll find practical articles from John and staff here on issues that affect your life, your family and your church. You can also download any of John's sermons from years of his pulpit ministry includes all the lessons from this current study of the Masters men take advantage of everything in our website and come back often the address again. GT Y.ORT now for John MacArthur and the entire grace to you staff on Phil Johnson encouraging you to be here tomorrow. John's going to show you why the apostle Thomas should be known for more than just his doubts. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Fridays.


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