Following Jesus 4
Are you like Simon Peter?
Following Jesus refers to being a disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple of Jesus entails following Jesus’ leading and learning from His teaching in order to take upon oneself, by God’s enablement, Jesus’ character.
In examining what it means to Follow Jesus as His disciples, let’s take a look at the most familiar disciples of Jesus: the Twelve. Matthew 10:1-4 is one text, along with Mark 3, Luke 6 and Acts 1, which gives us a list of who these men were.
And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: 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 Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Matthew 10:1-4 ESV).
These were the men belonging to the Master. What were they like? How are we like them? Most were true disciples; one was not. How do we resemble them in our personalities, passions, and our perspectives?
For the next several postings, we will examine what these men like. We will seek to discover their strengths, and their weaknesses. We will seek to discover the lessons they learned and the lessons they continue to teach us.
As we seek to discover all that we can about these men, we hopefully will discover some things about ourselves as we seek to Follow Jesus. How are we like Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Batholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James the Less, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and last but certainly not least, Judas Iscariot.
Here are some facts to consider as we begin. Simon Peter is always the disciple mentioned first; Judas Iscariot is always mentioned last.
Each list of the twelve contains three groups of four. Group one: Peter, Andrew, James and John. Group two: Philip, Bartholomew (Nathaniel), Thomas and Matthew. Group three: James the son of Alphaeus (James the less), Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. Each group always has the same four people in it.
Each group possesses a decreasing amount of information about each of its members. Each group has a decreasing level of intimacy to Christ. Each group begins with the same name.
When next we meet, we will begin examining the disciple known as Simon Peter. How are we like Peter? We’re about to find out!
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