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The Master's Men Part 4: James the Son of Alphaeus B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2022 4:00 am

The Master's Men Part 4: James the Son of Alphaeus B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 2, 2022 4:00 am

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A man like Simon to attach himself to them was to be the mayor with a tremendous passion tremendous capacity for zeal. You can imagine the fireball found a better leader and a greater you off at the British Open will join the Golden State Warriors play at Carnegie Hall that is out of your league. Well, you might consider that your spiritual credentials are even less impressive, but that puts you in pretty famous company. You see, the apostles were not chosen because they were spiritual all-stars. They were as ordinary as you and me. So can Jesus work in your life the way he worked in theirs. Consider that today on grace to you as John MacArthur continues his series. The Masters men. Here's the lesson turn your Bible with me to the 10th chapter of Matthew, Matthew chapter 10 and just as a setting. Let me read verses one through the first part of verse five. Speaking of the Lord it says and when he had called on to him his 12 disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out and heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the 12 apostles are these the first Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother James the son of Zebedee and John his brother Philip and Bartholomew Thomas and Matthew the tax collector James the son of Althea send let me guess whose surname was Thaddeus Simon the zealot and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

These 12 Jesus sent forth now even ask your question and the question we been asking is what kind of people does God use in his special service when the Lord will not depict people. What kind did he pick and we found some interesting answers.

I depict ALL kinds of people we see that the Lord can basically take any kind of raw material at all and use it for the advance of his glorious eternal kingdom uses strong, dynamic, bold leaders like Peter who take charge, initiate, strategize, confront, uses humble, gentle and conspicuous souls like Andrew quietly seek no prominence but bring people to Christ behind-the-scenes uses zealous, passionate, ambitious, uncompromising, task oriented, insensitive men like James who wind up being early martyrs uses loving, sensitive people oriented, believing, trusting intimate truth seekers like John use a skeptical analytical, mechanical, slow to believe slow witted vision was pessimistic, unsure men like Philip and you use even a man with prejudice in his heart, who is a seeker of truth and honest and open clear minded deeply surrendered like Nathaniel and you use an outcast extortionist tax collector, a traitor in the most hated man in his entire society like Matthew who knows he is a sinner and seeks forgiveness and turn them into a meek and quiet, humble man who loves the riffraff of society and who has a great faith in Christ and now the last group. James Libya's and Simon.

What about the second one verse three. Libya's, whose surname was Thaddeus and if you look in Luke 616 in acts 113 you are the look it up. You'll find he had 1/3 name Judas son of James and is one place called Judas, not Iscariot. Judas also was a common name, it means Jehovah leads and many people that time named their son Jehovah leads God leads this is Judas that's probably his given name, and then he probably received the names Olympia sin Thaddeus as people add names almost like nicknames. Thaddeus is a fascinating word. It comes from the Hebrew root fat which has to do with a female breast and basically Thaddeus means breast child, and it likely reflects the fact that Thaddeus was the baby of his family was, and have large families. Thaddeus was the baby was Thaddeus using her mother's she comes up and says I want you to be my baby as he looks out for the guy 65, you know, this is my baby was. That's the baby of the family. That's the last one right.

That's the breast child that's just a little colloquialism. Perhaps for the baby so to his family, was the baby was breast child specially cherished by his mother probably and then he was called also. Let me us now that may be a nickname to a comes from the Hebrew letter which means heart and it needs a heart child and a heart child was someone with a great heart and usually that was really the courage so his family.

So I'm as their baby and it may well be that the disciples kind of nickname him or other men who knew him, nicknamed him let me us because that reflected his courage he may have been a man of courage, we can't be sure about these things, but it may well be that from his mother's perspective. He was the tender baby, but from his friends perspective. He was a man of hard courage. He too is wrapped in obscurity. He would never make the Who's Who either. But he did ask one very important question is the only time we meet them in the Scripture John 14 look with me quickly will just look at this rather briefly Jesus speaking the night before his trial and he says in verse 21 he that hath my commandments, and keep with them. He is in love with me. He that loveth me shall be loved of my father and I love him and manifest myself to him.

That is an incredible statement. You could sit and look at that and think about it and dwell on it for hours. You keep your commandments. You show your love that's all excess. Basically, I can tell he loves me. They'll maybe you may claim to love God and love Christ you don't obey that claim is a lie. He that keeps my commandments is the one that loves me and the one who loves me will be loved of my father and I will love him and manifest myself to him as a doubly important state. God can only be manifest to a heart that loves that that's that that's the reason people in the world don't know God. That's the reason they can't perceive the truth because I don't love God. There has to be a love toward God, a willingness to obey and then God is manifest. The point being, here's the sum of it.

God is only manifest to a loving heart yet that that's only those who love him as he manifest now the word manifest triggers this thought and Judas let me us. Thaddeus responds in verse 22 Judas synonym, not Iscariot different Judas Judas son of James Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us not in the world you're saying that only those who love you are going and see you and know you and you will be manifest only to those you love you. How can you manifest yourself to us and not on the world what he mean what he's thinking of the manifestation is an outward one. You see, he came into the apostle.

Like so many others did. Thinking of an earthly kingdom. An earthly rule and overthrow of Rome great expectation of staff establishing the earthly kingdom and he sang them. How could you possibly fulfill the messianic hope. How could you possibly set up the kingdom on earth could you possibly rain on the throne of David. How could you possibly demonstrate who you are in the world not see it. I mean, how could you do that. How could it be done in such a way that they would see in the maybe another illusion. In a statement. He may be. Also, saying, why would you think of manifesting yourself only to us, I mean this motley group of nobodies. I mean if you are the Messiah, and this is the moment.

Why would you only show yourself to us. I mean, it is the will that the Messiah is the rule's a good question. Why will everybody see you honey.

If it's a time for the kingdom. Let's get on might see a little of that courage that he perhaps was known for. Let's go for it. Lord needs to know why you just want to show us, which she didn't understand.

So the Lord says again if a man love me you'll keep my words, my father will love it and we will come to him and make our abode with him and he repeats the same principle. The point is this Judas Libya's Thaddeus the only people who will perceive me of the ones who love me.

That's in verse 24 he that loves me not, keeps not my sayings, and the word which you hear is not mine but the fathers who sent me. In other words, the one that doesn't love me doesn't know what I'm talking about doesn't know it came from God. He says manifestation is limited to reception like a radio station, you can send a signal out of the teacher on the site, you can receive Christ came out it was all but his own.

What seemed he was in the world. The world was made by him at the world doing the God of this world had blinded their minds. Light has come into the world, but men love darkness see the receivers are not in a Jesus saying I can only manifest myself to. People receive.

I'm so glad that he asked that question because that's a tremendous truth to know is I'm so glad Jesus got answered was an insightful question. This guy really thought through. He reflects a typical Jewish view of the kingdom that it was an earthly literal real kingdom.

That's exactly what the Jews believe, and he couldn't figure out how you could bring it without everybody knowing he also reflects, I think humility why would you tell it to us, not the whole. What would you limit yourself to just us. So you see some things in him that are admirable. One writer said you take Charles Wesley bullet out of him brought up the street just let it set their dog combined sniff would meaning to the doll. Maybe the garbage guy will come along to pick up trash or some enthusiastic person who's worried about the tidiness of the street would come along selfless litter delicately remove it for somebody in the world might come along was very materialistic and think I better pick that might be the title deed to some property or some literary man might say, Charles Wesley mind.

He was a literary fellow wonderful poetic expression here and there might be a spiritually minded person pick it up. It is so blessed the paper was one thing, but it was how you received that that was the issue.

That's how it is in the world to only those whose hearts are purified by love and walk in obedience will know the manifestation of God.

I think that's kind of person that is was. So we see the Lord uses obscure people like James the son of Alpheus and Thaddeus Libya's Judas they would make the Who's Who but they'll rain in the millennium. By the way early church tradition tells us about Thaddeus that he was tremendously gifted with the power of God to heal the sick, in a certain king in Syria by the name of Apgar heard about it and was ill and he called for Thaddeus to come in healing and on the way he healed multiple hundreds of people throughout Syria and when he finally reached the king.

He healed the king and presented the gospel to the king and the legend says the king became a Christian, this through the country to such chaos that an apostate nephew of the King seized Thaddeus made him a prisoner and martyred. And he was killed in Syria.

If you ever pick up on old church history book on Thaddeus you will see that each of the disciples have a symbol of the symbol for Thaddeus is a big club because the legend says they beat him to death with a club faithful to his Lord.

Finally Simon the zealot. Listen closely because I'm a run this by real fast. You have in your Bible. Perhaps the word Canaanite that is an unfortunate transliteration of the word count and they us really the assumption that referred to Canaan geographically. That is not true. It comes from a root chain which means to be jealous or to be zealous for the law. In Luke, he is called Simon the zealot is a lactase and this is just another word meaning the same thing. Simon the man full of zeal.

Simon the zealot, and it may mean that he was actually identified with a party in Judaism known as the zealots and that when he became a disciple didn't change that name. He must've continued to manifest the same kind of fiery passion of zeal that he had when he was a zealot. There were for basically dominant groups within Judaism Pharisees. They were the they were the righteous. They were the fundamentalist legalists. Then there was the Sadducees and they were the liberals. Then there was the Essenes and they were the mystics the ascetics the monastics out in the caves and then there were the zealots. They were the political oriented group. There were the terrorists. They were the guerrillas. They were the brigands. They were around looting and burning and murdering a group of them within the zealots were notice to Kari I from Sica sword. They were the sassy and they had revolted against the Roman domination. In fact, they really were born out of the Maccabean. Whether by name or not. We can't be sure, but out of the Maccabean.

When the Jews were led by Judas Maccabeus to revolt against the Greek power there were statements made about being a revolutionary and standing to defend the covenant of God tickling first Maccabees or some stuff about that and it seems out of that came a sort of up of the politically oriented kind of terrorist approach became later known as the zealots they found a leader in New Testament times by the name of Judas another, as I say, very common name and under this Judas of Galilee, they they began seditious acts all over the land. These things are going on. In fact, if you could see the rest of history as you read the New Testament. There would be little interludes going on all over the place, led by the zealots that the Romans are putting out like little fires they would murder here, murder their plunder burn anything they could do much like you see in the Middle East today with guerrilla type engagements now for many years. The land had been ruled by a new me and king, not a Jew by the name of Herod the great, when Herod the great died he gave the division of his territory to three of his sons, Philip, who took the North East regions and then there was a Antipater took Galilee and then it was Archelaus who took the Judea Samaria part Archelaus proved to be a loser so he was replaced by a Roman governor and that's how Pilate got into the picture, but all of this sort of political unrest in the shifting and moving and struggling of powers the flame from the zealots begin to burn under the leadership of Judas. Finally, the Romans murdered Judas, but they couldn't stamp out the zealots and so they continue doing what they did, they they led what they call the holy war. Josephus says they believed it was a holy war and they would just loot and burn them plunder and kill all that is very possible that Simon was a member of the zealots is called Simon zealot. He was a terrorist engage in guerrilla warfare. It might be using for you to know that they were so anti-Roman that they would even give a thought about murdering Roman but they were so anti-Roman that anybody of their own countrymen, even a Jew of their own countrymen, who would in any way side with Rome. They would also assassinate. Finally, in 70 A.D. the Romans had to put a stop to all of and so they came and destroyed Jerusalem and Josephus says writing in his antiquities that the key reason for the destruction of Jerusalem was the activity of the zealots. The Romans got so tired of fighting these little seditious things all over the place. They decided to come in and just destroy the whole operation if they could just destroy Jerusalem. They would then move from there they did. They started destroyed Jerusalem in 70 A.D. they moved out they slaughtered people in 985 towns in Galilee. They just deliberated the nation and the zealots were the thorn in their side that finally brought this about now. There was a leader after 70 A.D. of the zealots by the name of Eliezer and he led the zealots in continuing plunder. There were just a few left. But they were going everywhere doing what they always do. They finally found the retreat where they could hide the place was Masada and the zealots were located in Masada. From there they would move out to do their guerrilla type activity. This of course is later than the time of Simon your member how it all finally ended Romans's finally took Masada in the zealots not wanting to lose their life to their despised and hated Roman enemy committed suicide and Josephus writes in the war of the Jews that Eliezer summoned the people together and made a flaming speech in which he urged them to slaughter their own wives and children then commit suicide. They took him at his word.

They tenderly embraced their wives kiss their children and then began the blood he work 960 perished only two women and five children escape by hiding in a cave. Those were not the normal Jewish people. Those were the political terrorists and they would kill themselves before they were little Roman take her life. That's how deep their hatred was now a man like Simon to attach himself to them.

Must've been a man with a tremendous passion a tremendous capacity for zeal and you can imagine.

He must've been a fireball when it got to the work of the Lord. He found a better leader and a greater cause.

He is listed will you notice he is listed right before what name Judas Iscariot. It's interesting to me, but they probably went together.

Maybe they were to buy when they went out to buy two was he in Judas because Judas had the same kind of political orientation did and it may well then that they came in on the same ground on the same level for configuring boy this Jesus could really aid our cause, and Simon could've been the betrayer and you would've named your children.

Judas Watson but Simon believed and was transformed. Judas did not, so no one names anything Judas Simon became Christ's mid think of how wonderful it must've been for him to get along with Matthew, who collected taxes for the Roman government. I wonder if he ever had. Just little anxieties about math well. The Lord uses all kinds of unqualified people doesn't use you and me on a close with this illustration was a concert violinist wanted to demonstrate a very important point, he felt sweetheart a great hall in the city and announced he would play a concert on $20,000 violent. He had the place packed with violent lovers came out and he played exquisitely and they applauded just gloriously bowed and took their plus through the filing to the ground and stomped it into bits people find when he walked off the stage, stage manager came out and said, but in general, maturities that was a $20 violent. He will not return to play the 20,000. Whatever it was violent and you know they couldn't tell the difference he made his point is the instrument the artist right now, folks. Let's face it, most of us are $20 violent at best. Right at best, but old what music can the master make with us which pray thank you father for your word to us to the lives of these obscure people. Thank you that they have a special place forever will see them reining in your kingdom will spend eternity with them and learn all of the unspoken truths about their marvelous and powerful ministries will help us to know that the focus is never on the human tool only on you and old. How that stresses the fact that we should function in the power of God, not in our own strength, save us from the foolishness of seeing the cups instead of the Christ put these truths deep in our hearts.

May we see what you can do with the simple life for your glory. Thank you for this time to get pricing. This is grace to you with John MacArthur thanks for tuning in today. John has been the pastor of Grace Community Church since 1969. He is also Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary and you are getting a fascinating look at Christ's handpicked disciples in the study. John calls Masters men, you know, John. The further we go down the list of these men, one truth comes all the more clear. These 12 people whom God used so mightily they don't stand out because of their impressive talents, but because of their lack of talent while they just didn't fit the picture for significant spiritual leadership.

None of them was a Pharisee. None of them was a sad to see another was a rabbi, none of them was a teacher. In fact, it was said of them sort of collectively can anything good come out of Galilee or Nazareth. So we these are just Galileans, they said no, these are the pics from hick town. Why would we listen to them. So yeah they they started out among the common people, as many as seven of them might've been fishermen which obviously is a simple trade so they didn't have the advantage of all the supposedly necessary status to get elevated but you couldn't be elevated higher than to be for the disciples of the son of the living God, the eternal son of the living God.

So it never was about their preparation and their talent that there is nothing in fact is nothing Phil ever said in the New Testament about any skill that they had never talked about whether one was a gifted teacher or one was a great counselor or one was a very wise interpreter of the Old Testament doesn't say anything about them at all. In terms of any talent or any skill what it does say about them is that they demonstrated meager faith to frequently and the other thing it says about them is that they were so ambitious they were always trying to push each other out of the way so they could get to the top in the kingdom. So they were frail, to be sure, the stories of these men, however, is the good news that God can use me and God can use you and that's why I'm excited about the new book 40 lives in 40 days. This is a book that will give you insight into the lives of not only the disciples but more key biblical figures, their personalities are somewhat familiar to you, but boy, there's a lot more that you probably don't know. We can draw from Scripture. These lives are powerful powerful examples for all of us to follow, so 40 lives in 40 days it will take you into the story of Eve the Samaritan woman Sampson Paul Hannah the older brother in the prodigal son story, Rahab wonderful stories and so helpful in learning how God uses frail people, you can order today. That's right, and friend. There are so many lessons to draw from the biblical characters in this book. People you can identify with and learn from both from their victories and their missteps, encouragement, page after page in this brand-new devotional.

The title again. 40 lives in 40 days. Order yours today shop right or you can speak to a customer service representative at 855 grace 40 lives in 40 days cost $11 and shipping is free to pick up this brand-new devotional for yourself or for a loved one, call 855 grace or go to

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