Utawala Baptist Church
Scripture Reading: Haggai 2:6-7
Why does God perform Miracles?
Not to entertain or amaze!
Though we are amazed.
But for a purpose
The Ten Lepers Luke 17: 11-19
The Official’s Son John 4:46-54
Fishes and the loaves
What is God’s preferred method of working?
Miracles or through the followers of Jesus Christ.
Let’s look at a group of men who turned the world UPSIDE DOWN!
Grouping of Apostles 3 groups of 4
Peter, Andrew, James and John
Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew
James, Thaddeus, Simon and Judas Iscariot
They were real living characters we can identify with.
The personalities of these men are familiar to us.
They are just like us or people we know!
That is because they were perfectly ordinary people in every way.
· Not one of them was renowned for scholarship.
· They had no talents as orators or theologians.
· They were outsiders to the religious system of their day.
· They were not outstanding because of any natural talents or intellectual abilities.
In fact Jesus remarked that they were slow learners and sometimes spiritually dense!
They spanned the political spectrum.
· One was a zealot a radical determined to overthrow Rome.
· Another a tax collector (a traitor to the Jewish nation and in collusion with Rome.
· At least four and possibly 7 were fishermen.
· The others we are not told what they did before becoming followers of Christ.
In spite of their faults and shortcomings they carried on a ministry after Christ was gone that left an incredible mark on the world.
In fact it turned the world upside down.
PERFECTLY ORDINARY PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU AND ME- THEY BECAME INSTRUMENTS BY WHICH CHRIT’S MESSAGE WAS CARRIED TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH.
The twelve were personally selected and called by Christ.
He knew the, as only their Creator could know them.
He knew their every fault before he selected them.
He knew Judas Iscariot would betray him and yet he chose the traitor anyway and gave him all the same privileges and blessings that he gave the others.
Jesus prayed for his disciples and he prayed and is praying for us today.
John 17:6-8; 20
Think of the possibilities!
The spreading of the Gospel and the founding of the church depended on twelve men whose outstanding characteristic was that they were ordinary people.
· They were chosen by Christ and trained for a time best measured in months not years
· He taught them scriptures and theology.
· He disciple them in the ways of godly living.
o Teaching them and showing them how to pray.
o How to forgive.
o And how to serve each other with humility.
· He gave them moral instruction.
· He spoke of things to come.
· He employed them as his instruments.
o To heal the sick.
o Cast out daemons.
o And to do other miraculous works.
To get a feeling for the brief period of time the apostles spent with Christ consider that Jesus’ entire time of ministry from baptism to resurrection lasted approximately three years.
The time of intensive training for the apostles lasted only about half of that.
Those few men with backgrounds in very ordinary earthly occupations had little more than eighteen months of training for the huge task for which they were called for.
In earthly terms this sounds risky at best.
But Christ knew exactly what he was doing.
The ultimate success of the strategy depended on the Holy Spirit working in these men to accomplish God’s sovereign will.
IT WAS A MISSION THAT COULD NOT BE STOPPED.
MATTHEW 10:1 (HE)
THAT IS WHY IT IS A WORK FOR WHICH GOD ALONE DESERVES THE PRAISE AND GLORY.
Those men were merely instruments in God’s hands. Just as you and I can be today!
God delights in using ordinary means. To accomplish great things!
I Corinthians 1:27-29
The least known of the four disciples in the first group.
Two pairs of brothers.
Andrew and Simon Peter
James and John
Paul is often considered to be the first foreign missionary.
Andrew is the first home missionary we find in John 1:40-42.
We never find any dishonor or rebuke attached to Andrews name in the Scriptures.
1. Andrew saw the value of individual people.
Andrew fully appreciated the value of a single soul.
He was known for bringing individuals not crowds to Jesus
Andrew totally understood the principle of John 6:37
Almost every time we see Andrew in the New Testament he is bringing someone to Jesus.
Edward Kimble and Dwight Moody.
2. Andrew saw the value of insignificant gifts.
Feeding of the 5000
John 6:6 Jesus knew what he would do!
John 6:9 Andrew brought the boy.
Andrew understood that Jesus would not issue a command without making it possible for them to obey.
God’s ability to use a gift is in no way hindered or limited by the size of the gift.
Widow’s mite John 21:4
Andrew seemed to instinctively know that he was not wasting Jesus’ time bringing such a small gift………………………
It is not the greatness of the gift that counts but the greatness of the God to whom it is given.
3. Andrew saw the value of inconspicuous service.
Andrew is the very picture of those who labor and serve quietly out of sight getting little if any recognition.
SONS OF THUNDER FIRST TO FORTH!
Andrew was not an impressive pillar and recognized such as Peter, James or John.
He didn’t mind being hidden as long as the work was being done
The Bible doesn’t record what happened to Andrew after Pentecost.
Tradition tells us Andrew took the Gospel north to Achaia.
There he was crucified.
Hanging on the cross for two days.
He exhorted passers-by to turn to Christ for salvation!
WAS ANDREW SLIGHTED?
I think not!
No he was privileged!
He was the first to hear that Jesus was the Lamb of God!
He was the first to follow Christ!
He was given intimate access to Christ?
His name will be inscribed with the names of the other apostles on the foundation of the eternal city the New Jerusalem.