Big Idea: We can learn much about leadership and followership from watching what Jesus did, and how he did it. In this story, it’s why and how to choose volunteers or employees.
Scripture: And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve:
Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:13-21 ESV
A couple of years had passed since Jesus was baptized, tempted in the wilderness, and began his ministry. He had met hundreds of people in his travels and dozens began to follow him wherever he went teaching and healing. Jesus was a superstar by mid-summer 28 AD. He knew it was time to choose men, who would eventually lead the new Church after he left. Disciple “a learner; follower”
The power of Delegation. “To shift one’s authority and responsibility to one or more workers”. Like he’d taught Moses, Jesus believed in the importance of delegation. In Jesus’ case, his disciples were his social media, as well as those who would pick up the baton after his death and resurrection.
What qualities did Jesus look for in his disciples? Every leader has their list of requirements for their team. Jesus didn’t look for experience, education, social standing. His requirements were that they were devoted followers, teachable, faithful, courageous and had the Father’s approval.
What did Jesus require of his followers? To be with him, to eventually go out and preach, heal and cast out demons, He gave them the message as well as the power to fulfill their mandate. He ordained (appointed) them, and eventually sent them out as Apostles.
Whom did Jesus choose?
Simon, called Peter, the Rock. Loud, impetuous, Eventually he became the leader of the twelve. (Acts 2) Brother of Andrew. He was one of the inner circle. A natural leader. Married and his wife often travelled with him. First Bishop of Antioch. Eventually crucified with his wife in Rome. Wrote 1 and 2 Peter.
James, son of Zebedee, (a wealthy businessman) nick-named Son of Thunder, (intense passion and fervour) one of inner circle. First disciple to be martyred by beheading.
John, (Jacob) James’ brother, son of Thunder. One of inner circle. Pastored in Ephesus. Lived the longest, and wrote the Gospel of John, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Revelations. Only disciple not to be martyred.
Andrew. Brother of Simon, the evangelist. Died a martyr as a missionary to Greece.
Philip. Invited Nathaniel to follow Jesus. Ministered to Greek speaking people. Crucified in Patmos
Bartholomew. Also known as Nathaniel; preached in India and translated the book of Matthew. Beaten, crucified and beheaded in Armenia.
Levi. Also named Matthew. Former tax collector. Hated by Jews as a traitor. Brought Gospel to Ethiopia and Egypt. Killed with a spear in Ethiopia
Thomas. Didymus means “twin”. Doubting Thomas. Pessimistic. Also went to India as a Missionary. Martyred by spear.
James. “Little James” son of Alpheus. First Bishop of Jerusalem. Crucified in Sinai.
Thaddeus Also called “the good Judas”. Maybe went to Edessa (south Turkey today) Apostle to the Armenians; clubbed to death in Lebanon.
Simon the Zealot (fiery nationalist who took an oath to kill any foreign power who tried to take authority from Israel) preached in West Africa and maybe went to England as an evangelist. Crucified in 74AD.
Judas Iscariot. From Kerioth in Judah. “A devil” Maybe upper class, educated, handled (and helped himself to) the money. Heard every message of Jesus but ultimately betrayed him. Died a suicide.
Many others followed also, including Mathias and Joseph Barsabbas. Acts 1:21-26
So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
Acts 1:21-26 ESV
Application: We, as believers, have been invited to be Jesus’ disciples. His call is a great privilege and carries huge responsibility, but he is with us, he empowers us to fulfill whatever we are assigned, and the rewards are eternal.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow Me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? Matthew 16:24-26 ESV