The Word of God belongs to God, not man.


April 30, 2021

The Word of God belongs to God, not man.

We find this especially with the 12 Apostles and here we will begin with a letter from the Apostle Paul.

 

Before we do get into our verse, I want to point out that One of the principles that we must deal with is how the Lord used the personalities of the 12 apostles given to Israel as well as the personalities of the Church-age believers.

 

Not only did our Lord have to deal with the 12 apostles given to Israel but He also had to deal with the personalities of the first Century believers of the Church-age.

 

Along with these principles,

there was also the different individuals who were constantly jealous of our Lord as well and would do whatever they could because of the jealousy they had toward our Lord.

 

 

Remember our Lord used all kinds of individuals to reveal that the Word of God uses all kinds of personalities but The Word of God belongs to God and not man.

 

Tonight we will take a look the different personalities our Lord used.

 

Remember in the early church we read that Paul said

 

1CO 1:10   Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 

1CO 1:11 For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s   people, that there are quarrels among you.

 

1CO 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”

 

1CO 1:13 Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

 

1CO 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,

 

1CO 1:15 that no man should say you were baptized in my name.

 

1CO 1:16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.

 

1CO 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void.

 

1CO 1:18   For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 

 

Paul has laid a firm foundation for his letter in two things.

 

First, he had zero doubts that the Christians in Corinth were truly saved, born-again believers, completely secure in Christ forever.

 

Paul will not look at their sin and wrong thinking and challenge their salvation.

 

Second, Paul has grounded their security in Christ Himself.

 

He mentions the name of Christ here for the tenth time in the first ten verses.

 

The Corinthians are accepted, because they are in Christ, and for no other reason.

 

In the previous verse, Paul wrote these believers have been called, each of them, into the fellowship of Christ.

 

That requires, as people in Christ, they be in fellowship with each other.

 

Now Paul comes to the first of many problems among the church in Corinth.

 

Instead of being united because they are all in Christ, the Corinthians are divided.

 

Paul urges them in the name of Christ to agree with each other.

He sets a high expectation for this church, and all Christian churches: zero divisions.

 

Because each of them is in Christ, Paul insists that they can live in unity.

 

This unity can, and must, reach the level of cooperative thinking and judgment on matters of critical importance.

 

Here, as in other passages (Romans 14), Paul will clarify: he is not demanding everyone in the church agree with whomever is in charge.

 

Nor is he teaching that believers can never disagree about something.

 

The standard here is not to reach perfect conformity, only that they must reach unity.

 

Disagreement does not have to mean division.

 

Paul is setting up Christ as the standard for every thought and judgment.

 

As every person conforms to Christ, they will come into alignment with each other.

 

Differences of opinion will be secondary to fundamental agreement and brotherhood, through Christ.

 

When Christians set up mere human beings as their standard, division is always the result, as 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 shows us.

 

First Corinthians 1:10–17 is about Christian unity.

 

After giving thanks to God for the Corinthians and their sure place with Him in eternity, Paul addresses the way they have divided themselves into factions based on which Christian teacher they follow.

 

Paul urges them to stop and be unified in and around Christ.

 

After all, Christ is not divided.

 

They were not baptized in the name of Paul, though he baptized a few of them.

 

Christ did not send Paul to baptize, but to preach the gospel.

 

Paul will not risk emptying the cross of its power by preaching with eloquent words.

 

 

Allow me to give you a brief Chapter Summary:

 

Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth begins with thanks for the great and powerful gifts God has given to them by His grace and through their faith in Christ.

 

They will stand blameless before God in the end.

 

Right now, though, they must stop dividing themselves according to which Christian teacher they follow and become unified in and around Christ.

 

The gospel message of Christ’s death on the cross is weak and foolish to the world,

but God has given faith in Christ to those who believe it and find God’s power and wisdom.

 

1CO 1:10   Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree, and there be no divisions among you, but you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.

 

Paul has revealed his first reason for writing to the Christians in Corinth.

He has received unpleasant reports about them.

 

Paul is writing from Ephesus, where he is living and working and some people have come to Ephesus who are familiar with what is going on among the Christians in Corinth.

 

He has received a troubling report that they are engaged in “quarreling.”

 

The term Paul uses here is one associated with deep, heated strife and emotional bickering: eris, which was also the name of the Greek goddess of discord.

 

Instead of being united in Christ, as is the expectation for all churches, the Corinthians were hotly divided.

 

Here we learn the source of their conflict.

 

Different factions within the church have apparently aligned themselves with one of at least four different teachers.

 

This passage lists Paul, Apollos, Cephas—Peter—and Christ.

 

There might have been more, and Paul is simply listing these for the sake of example.

 

Part of what’s implied here is that followers of these factions have aligned themselves against the other leaders and those who follow them.

 

Apollos is a somewhat mysterious figure in the early church.

 

He was an Alexandrian Jew who became well known for his eloquent speaking, his knowledge of the Scriptures, and his bold teaching.

 

When they saw that Apollos’s knowledge was incomplete,

Paul’s friends and co-workers Priscilla and Aquila took him aside and helped him to better understand Christianity.

 

He later traveled to Corinth with recommendation letters from the Christians in Ephesus (Acts 18:24–19:1).

 

Apollos is not known to have worked directly with Paul, but is not shown to have worked against him, either.

 

He Apollos seems to have been a talented, independent Christian teacher empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 18:25).

 

Cephas is another name for ——– the apostle Peter (John 1:42).

Did you know that Cepahs was Peter???

 

Tonight we will see that some of the disciples, in fact, were referred to as a few different names.

 

It’s unclear if Peter ever came to Corinth himself.

 

Some scholars speculate that devout Jews who had converted to Christianity may have been more comfortable aligning themselves with Peter’s faithful Jewish roots.

 

The group that declared “I follow Christ” would seem, on the surface, to be the one Paul would give praise to.

 

He does not do so outright, suggesting that this faction may have championed Christ in some distorted way.

 

I find it admirable that Paul is using his common sense here, how could any of these teachers even be compared with Christ.

 

Now at first glance, we may wonder how people could be so committed to just one Christian leader that they would fight with other believers over it.

 

After all, didn’t all of them teach the same message:

Christ’s gospel?

 

Wouldn’t one assume all of these leaders preached that salvation comes only by faith in Christ?

 

Experience, however, shows how easy it is for human beings to lose perspective and divide over issues of personality, authority, and race.

 

We don’t have any reason to assume that Apollos or Peter were encouraging this conflict.

 

Nor do we see evidence they were building factions against other teachers.

 

Paul certainly was not, as he makes clear in this and the following verses.

 

In fact, Paul sounds both baffled and angry.

 

Can Christ be divided into parts, he asks.

 

In other words, isn’t Christianity all about Jesus Christ, not some fallible human teacher?

 

How can loyalty to one person’s truthful teaching about Jesus cause those in Christ to declare opposition to other truthful teachers about Christ?

 

Paul immediately calls out any group which would say it is loyal to him and against the others.

 

He pointedly and sarcastically asks if he was the one who was crucified to pay for their sin?

 

Were they baptized in Paul’s name?

No, of course not.

 

All Christians were baptized in the name of Jesus as a way of identifying themselves publicly with Him.

 

Paul’s remark is not only cutting, it is telling:

Those who identify more with a human teacher than with Jesus should consider in whom they are truly trusting.

 

1 Corinthians 1:14

1CO 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,

 

Paul clearly wants to eliminate himself from any position which only Christ should occupy in a believer’s heart and mind.

 

This statement, as continued in the flowing verses, also helps us place baptism in the proper perspective.

 

Paul puts great emphasis on his desire to see others saved (Romans 10:1), yet he explicitly says his mission is not to baptize (1 Corinthians 1:17).

 

 

In other words, Paul himself establishes a clear difference between being saved by grace and being baptized; removing the possibility that baptism is a necessary part of salvation (Titus 3:5).

 

 

1 Corinthians 1:15

1CO 1:15 that no man should say you were baptized in my name.

 

The idea that anyone would be baptized in the name of Paul was ridiculous heresy. That was Paul’s point.

 

Parallel to that, this passage demonstrates that Paul did not consider baptism and salvation to be one and the same.

 

1 Corinthians 1:16

1CO 1:16 Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.

 

Here Paul is making an aside from his main point that no Christian is legitimately baptized in the name of some teacher, preacher, or apostle.

 

His point, though, remains that it does not matter whom he did or did not baptize because nobody was baptized in his name.

 

All Christians are baptized in the name of Jesus.

 

They are baptized in the name of Jesus, and all their loyalty and focus should be on Him.

 

1 Corinthians 1:17

1CO 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void.

 

Paul was in the unique position as an apostle of having been sent by Christ Himself to complete a specific mission with his life.

 

Christ sent Paul to preach the gospel, especially to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; 22:21).

 

Holding clearly to this mission meant that Paul also understood what Christ had not sent him to do.

 

He was not called to baptize those who had believed the gospel.

 

He was an evangelist and a missionary.

 

Paul adds that Christ did not send him to preach the gospel with words of eloquent wisdom.

 

To preach in this way, Paul says, risks emptying the cross of Christ of its power.

 

As a writer of course, Paul was often quite eloquent and certainly wise in his presentation of the gospel.

 

 

One of the values of this era was rhetoric, speeches that were recognized for their brilliant use of words and phrasing to wow an audience and overwhelm a debate opponent on a given topic.

 

We still use that term, today, in reference to the use of words intended to elicit certain responses.

 

Though Paul was clearly skillful in his use of words, he did not want to persuade anyone to come to faith in Christ because of dazzling wordplay.

 

Instead, he Paul wanted to present the gospel as clearly as possible and allow his listeners to be persuaded by the simple, compelling fact that the Son of God died to pay the penalty for their own sin.

 

That powerful message should not require dazzling packaging to make an impact.

 

And finally my last verse

1CO 1:18   For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

 

 

The Word of God belongs to God, not man.

 

We find this especially with the 12 Apostles.

 

I will introduce those Jesus chose as His 12 during His earthly ministry.

 

The leading characteristic of each apostle seems to be:

 

Peter – impulsive

Andrew – open-minded

James – fanatical

John – passionate

 

Philip – inquisitive

Bartholomew – composed

Matthew – humble

Thomas – pessimism

James the son of Alphaeus – quietness

Simon the Zealot – strong-willed

Judas son of James – intense

Judas – traitor.

 

What did these men have with the exception of one?

 

They were available, they were flexible, they were teachable, and they were dependable.

 

With these four traits character can be built.

 

There was within them not a great deal of intellectual ability, except probably with Judas Iscariot, but they had the things from which character could be built.

 

Now as I introduce my wife, and she presents us with the 12 Apostles,

What you want to pay attention to about these 12 men is character and attitude, not intellectual ability only.

 

 

 

Thank all who have reached out to us, we are so grateful for you all and the many text, messages, and calls really are uplifting and encouraging to my dad, your pastor.

 

Matthew notes that the positions of honor are already designated by God the Father (Matthew 20:23).

 

We have seen how He chose Samson (Judges 13:2–5) and John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–17) before they were born.

 

We know that He chooses who will be saved (Ephesians 1:4).

 

Jesus specifically chose the Twelve to be His apostles (Mark 3:13–19) and Paul to be an apostle (Acts 9:1–19).

 

The Holy Spirit even chooses who will have what gifts to serve the church (Ephesians 4:11–12; 1 Corinthians 12:7).

 

So, as God looks out over all human history with one glance,

it’s evident that He works directly in that history,

and invites us to join His work in different ways.

 

We need to focus on listening for His call in our own lives and making sure we answer “YES.”

 

There is a part of the gospels where James and John assume that their closeness to Jesus combined with their willingness to sacrifice much and work hard for His kingdom will earn them high positions.

 

This is the way of the world, including the province of Israel.

 

In the church age, honor, importance, and authority do not necessarily go together (1 Corinthians 12:22–25).

 

Leaders are servants (John 13:3–16).

 

James and John wanted to sit at the right and left side of Jesus in His kingdom, there mother was involved as well, acting as their agent.

 

Soon, however, —- there will be two men chosen to be at Jesus’ right and left hand.

 

But they are men the disciples could never have imagined: Two thieves (Mark 15:27).

 

Two thieves will literally pick up their crosses and be crucified with Christ, but this will not guarantee them positions in heaven. (Mark 15:27)

 

Great suffering does not earn us salvation, just as it does not earn us positions of authority in the church.

 

Although both thieves suffered, The only one to see paradise was the one who recognized he was as powerless as a child (Mark 10:15) and placed his trust in Jesus (Luke 23:39–43).

 

 

The study of the 12 Apostles is an intriguing subject – with their personalities, their strengths, and their weaknesses.

 

The 12 apostles were given to Israel, just Israel, — Paul is the apostle to the gentiles.

 

We need always to remember that Not only were they human, like us today, and had failures and successes; but they also were trained by our Lord during His earthly ministry.

 

And they all had different personalities.

As we get into our study tonight please Consider a few things,

 

These men were men like you and I, however — they did not have what we have today, the completed canon of scripture and they did not have the filling of the HS when they walked with Jesus.

 

One thing we will Consider this Sunday when my dad leads us in the Lords supper, is how these men responded to the Cross.

 

For now lets begin with Luke 6:13-16.

Luke 6:13-16 And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles.

 

Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas;

 

James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon [not Peter] who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

 

The original twelve disciples of Jesus are mentioned in four lists in the New Testament.

 

These four lists are divided into three groups each, with Peter heading the first group; Philip, the second; and James, the third.

 

Each group in each of the 4 lists has the same persons.

However, after the first name there is variety in the order.

 

In all four lists, Peter is at the top and Judas Iscariot is at the bottom.

Simon Peter’s group has three more people in it – Andrew, James and John -listed in various order according to Mat 10:2-4, Mar 3:16-19, and Act 1:13.

 

John never lists the disciples in his gospel.

 

The second group is always begun by Philip; he’s always number 5 and is then followed by Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas in various order.

 

The third group is always begun by James, the Son of Alphaeus, and thereafter includes the same men -Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaean, (which really means the Zealot) and Judas Iscariot, last.

 

Judas is not mentioned in the book of Acts; by then he had committed suicide.

 

Initially the gospels can appear to be confusing, because the Apostles are not always listed in the same order.

(I was really confused by these lists at first so please stay with me and I promise they will make sense)

 

It doesn’t make it any easier that  – Nor are they called by the same name.

 

For example, In group three Thaddaeus and Judas, son of James, are the same person.

 

Simon the Cananaean is also Simon the Zealot.

 

It would be easy to mistake this individual for two different people, but he is one individual.

 

Bartholomew is called Nathanael elsewhere.

 

Thomas is called Didymus three times in the gospel of John, which means twin.

 

James on one occasion is called “the Less;” ——–perhaps he was the younger, perhaps he was the shorter.

 

Matthew, [whom we saw earlier in our study], was called Levi in Luke’s gospel.

 

Now – Let’s look at the type of people our Lord chose as his disciples.

 

Beginning with

 

Impulsive PETER – Luke 6:14 Simon, whom He also named Peter.

 

The character of Peter is transparent and easily analyzed.

 

He appears to have been the leader of the apostles on every occasion.

 

He is named first in every list of them, and was their common spokesman.

 

Peter was known for being bold, confident, courageous, frank, impulsive, energetic, vigorous, strong, loving and faithful to his Master in spite of his defection prior to the crucifixion.

 

It is true that he was liable to change, and inconsistency prevailed at times.

 

Because of his peculiar temperament Peter sometimes appeared forward and rash.

 

Yet, his virtues and faults had their common root in his enthusiastic disposition.

——Such was Peter’s makeup, his nature, and his personality traits.

Peter was not a phony.

 

However, at times, he was the type of individual who did not think before acting.

 

He apparently had the strongest character in the group, and he frequently served as a spokesman for the disciples.

 

He was their recognized leader.

 

Mark 1:35-36 And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there. And Simon and his companions hunted for Him.

 

An inner circle of three apostles existed among the Twelve.

 

Peter was also the leader of this small group.

 

This trio – Peter, James, and John – was present with Jesus on a number of occasions.

 

These three witnessed the raising of a young girl from the dead, Mar 5:37; Luke 8:51.

 

They were present at Jesus’ transfiguration, Mat 17:1-2.

 

And They were present during Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane, Mat 26:37, Mar 14:33.

 

 

Next we have – open-minded Andrew

 

 

Open Minded – ANDREW

Luke 6:14 “Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother;”

 

Andreas means “manly,” and has also been interpreted as “the mighty one” or “conqueror.”

 

Andrew was the first called of the Twelve Apostles, which is significant.

 

The choice was an important one, for Andrew’s influence on the remaining followers of Christ would be one of searching and desiring higher things and a deeper knowledge of God.

 

These character traits are what encouraged Andrew to first follow John the Baptist and then the Lamb of God to whom John pointed Andrew.

 

Along with a keenness of perception regarding spiritual truths, Andrew also had a strong sense of personal conviction which enabled him not only to accept Jesus as the Messiah, but to win his brother Peter

also as a disciple of Christ.

 

Andrew was not the greatest of the apostles, yet he is typical of those men of open-minded understanding and sound common sense without whom the success of any great movement cannot be assured.

 

Void of the boldness and ruggedness of Peter’s character, to which only a few can aspire, Andrew had that feature which makes him a pattern within the reach of all – a simple, earnest determination in carrying out the dictates of his personal convictions.

 

Another feature in Andrew was His eagerness to win souls in private to Jesus.

 

Andrew was not a powerful public speaker.

 

He was a low-keyed individual who was very trustworthy.

 

While we admire Peter as the foremost apostle through whom 3,000 were added to the church on the day of Pentecost, let us not forget that without Andrew, “Simon” would never have become “Peter.”

 

So well known, was his love for souls, that when certain Greeks desired to see Jesus, Andrew was the person to whom Philip brought them.

 

John 12:20-22 Now there were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast; these therefore came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee,

 

and began to ask him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip came and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip came, and they told Jesus.

 

However, Andrew had his faults; in Joh 6:8-9 he shared in the disciples’ unbelief when Jesus tested their faith.

 

John 6:8-9 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, ‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?”

 

Then we see verses 12-16 of Luke’s gospel

Luke 6:12-16 And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, He spent the whole night in prayer to God.

 

And when day came, He called His disciples to Him; and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:

 

Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and

John; and Philip and Bartholomew; and Matthew and Thomas;

 

 

James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon [not Peter] who was called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

 

 

Now we move onto:

Fanatical – JAMES

 

The next Apostle we will look at is James, the son of Zebedee and the older brother of John.

 

From the time he was ordained an apostle, James occupied a prominent place among the apostles, and, along with Peter and John, became the special confidant of Jesus.

 

These three apostles alone were present at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, (Luke 8:51), at the Transfiguration, (Mat 17:1-8), and at the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Mat 26:36-46.

 

Shortly after the Transfiguration, when Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem, in Luke 9:51, they were passing through Samaria, the fury of James and John was kindled by the unkind reception given to our Lord by the crowd, in Luke 9:53.

 

 

Luke 9:51-56 And it came about, when the days were approaching for His ascension, that He resolutely set His face to go to Jerusalem;

 

and He sent messengers on ahead of Him. And they went, and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make arrangements for Him.

 

And they did not receive Him, because He was journeying with His face toward Jerusalem.

 

And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, ‘Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’

 

But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:51-56)

 

It was probably for this type of hotheaded rashness and fanaticism that the surname “Boanerges,” which means “Sons of Thunder,” was bestowed on them when they were ordained to the Twelve, Mar 3:17.

 

James, John, and Peter are the only people mentioned to whom Jesus gives nicknames.

 

Jesus’ nickname for the brothers reflects that they have the destructive zeal of a thunderstorm.

 

They live up to their name when they ask Jesus for places of honor in His kingdom (Mark 10:35–40).

 

Note, however, that there was some excuse for their action. Remember they did not have canon of script.

 

Not to mention – The impression left by the Transfiguration was still greatly upon them.

 

They felt strongly that Their Lord, whom they had just beheld “in His glory” with “His countenance altered” and “shining garments,” should not be subjected to such indignities by the Samaritans.

 

 

 

Upon the occasion of our Lord’s last journey to Jerusalem, Mar 10:32, the two brothers gave expression to this presumptuous rashness in a more selfish manner, Mar 10:35-45.

 

They presumed upon their intimacy with Jesus, and made the following request.

 

Mar 10:35-40 And James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Him, saying to Him, ‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.’

 

And He said to them, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ And they said to Him, ‘Grant that we may sit in Your glory, one on Your right, and one on Your left.’

 

But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking for.

 

Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?’

And they said to Him, ‘We are able.’

 

And Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized.

But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’ (Mar 10:35-40)

 

In Mat 20:20-28, these words are put in the mouth of their mother, not directly from James and John.

 

However, this request drew forth the rebuke of Jesus and moved the other ten with indignation,

 

Mar 10:40-45 And hearing this, the ten began to feel indignant with James and John.

 

And calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, ‘You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.

 

But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.

 

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.’

 

James was the first of the 12 apostles to be put to death.

 

Herod Agrippa I, the grandson of Herod the Great, killed James sometime between A.D. 42 – 44.

 

His death is the only martyrdom mentioned in the New Testament, Act 12:2.

 

 

Let me tell you about the aposle whom Jesus loved:

 

Passionate – JOHN

 

Luke 6:14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John;

 

Both John and James were men of considerable wealth, assumed from the fact that they had “hired servants” with them and John’s mother was one of those women who ministered of their substance to Jesus and His disciples, Mat 27:55-56.

 

A comparison of Mar 15:40-41 identifies the wife of Zebedee, John’s mother, with Salome.

 

It seems a fair inference from John 19:25, though all do not accept it, that Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Salome, the wife of Zebedee, were sisters.

 

If true, James and John were cousins of Jesus, and were also related to the family of John the Baptist.

 

John also held an intimate connection with the Lord.

 

He John was a young man of fiery zeal and a tendency toward intolerance and exclusiveness, evident in his desire to call down fire upon the Samaritan village.

 

His tendency toward exclusiveness is manifested in the request of his mother as to the place her sons were to occupy in the kingdom – the highest positions.

 

Jesus did not encourage this and rebuked these tendencies, but the tendencies reveal the man.

 

John was in the inner circle of the disciples.

 

Indeed, nearest of all to Jesus, he was called, “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (Joh 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20).

 

Because of that love, John became the apostle of love.

 

Interestingly enough he is the only one who wrote that he was the disciple that Jesus loved.

 

John was the kind of man who could profit by the rebuke of Jesus and he did.

 

John’s passionate disposition was held in check, and under control, and was allowed to vent only on occasions when it was permissible, and even necessary.

 

In John’s gospel writings, note the intensity that he had displayed, but directed only against those who refused to believe in, and to acknowledge, Jesus as the Christ.

 

Joh 13:21-23 When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.’

 

The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking.

There was reclining on Jesus’ breast one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.

 

Did Jesus love all the disciples? YES does

 

According to Joh 13:1, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

 

However, John calls himself, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Let’s see that now:

Note John 19:26 “When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, Woman, behold, your son!”

 

John 20:1-8 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.

 

And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’

 

Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they were going to the tomb.

 

And the two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in.

 

Simon Peter therefore also came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he beheld the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth, which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.

 

So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb entered then also, and he saw and believed.

 

Then in John 21:7

John 21:7 That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’ And so when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea.

 

In Joh 21:20 Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; the one who also had leaned back on His breast at the supper, and said, ‘Lord, who is the one who betrays You?

 

John had “a quiet and thoughtful temperament” which is not inconsistent with a certain fierceness.

 

It is not without significance that in the three narratives which are cited from the gospels to prove the overbearing temper of John, —we are told that Jesus corrected him all three times.

 

Are we to suppose that these rebukes made no impression?

 

Is it more likely that they sank deep into his heart, and that the agony of beholding his Master’s crucifixion made them impossible to forget and reject?

 

And As he grew older and wiser, he began that long development which changed that youthful “son of thunder” into the “aged apostle of love.”

 

Never forget that love itself has its side of vehemence and passion, and the intensity of love toward a person or a cause may be measured by the intensity of antagonism and of disdain toward those who oppose and contradict that which they love. Repeat.

 

There are many reflections in the gospel of John and in his epistles, which display this energy of hatred toward the work of the devil and toward those dispositions under the influence of the father of lies.

 

John, as a fervent youth devoted to his Master, carried with him to the end this same disposition which was characteristic.

 

The power options – namely the filling of the Spirit and Bible doctrine – caused him to redirect that energy, fervency and passion toward the things of God. but he did not get the filling of the HS until Pentecost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we have Philip.

 

Inquisitive PHILIP

 

Along with Andrew and other fellow-townsmen, Philip had journeyed to Bethany to hear the teaching of John the Baptist, and there he received his first call from Christ, “Follow me,” John 1:43.

 

As with Andrew, Philip’s Greek name implies he had Greek connections.

 

This is strengthened by the fact that he acted as the spokesman of the Greeks at the Passover.

 

Of a weaker mold than Andrew, he was the one to whom the Greeks would first appeal when seeking answers from the Lord.

 

Philip was very inquisitive, asked probing questions, and sympathized and understood the doubts and difficulties that the Greeks had.

 

1Co 1:22 For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom;

 

While Andrew was practical, strong-minded and naturally the type of man to win the impulsive, head-strong Peter;

the slower Philip, versed in the Scriptures, appealed more to the critical Nathanael and the cultured Greeks.

 

Philip was very cautious, deliberate, and desirous of submitting all truth to the test of sensuous experience.

 

Philip asked to see God (John 14:8), to which Jesus responded with a claim to be God (John 14:9).

 

Joh 14:8-11

8 Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’

 

9 Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?  He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

 

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?

The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

 

11 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves.’

 

Philip is looking for some miraculous sign, but Jesus indicates His purpose is to be the revelation of God to mankind (2 Corinthians 4:6).

 

Philip concluded the same criterion would also be acceptable to Nathanael.

 

John 1:44-45 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter.

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’

 

Note two things wrong that Philip said:

  1. Philip did not find Jesus; Jesus found Philip.
  2. Jesus was the Son of God, not of Joseph His reputed father.

 

We can surmise that in the beginning, Philip was sincere but deficient in knowledge; for it was Christ who found him, not he Christ.

 

This was a fulfillment of a prophecy in Isa 65:1 I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me; I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’ To a nation which did not call on My name.

 

John 1:43 The next day He [Jesus] purposed to go forth into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, Follow Me.

 

John 1:46 And Nathanael said to him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see.

 

It was the natural mindedness of Philip that influenced Jesus to awaken in Philip, His disciple, a larger and more spiritual faith, in John 6:6, seeking “to test him.”

 

John 6:4-6 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Jesus therefore lifting up His eyes, and seeing that a great multitude was coming to Him, said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread, that these may eat?’

And this He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do.

 

This shows Jesus discipling His disciple and He still does this today, through the means of the filling of the Holy Spirit and the intake of bible doctrine.

 

The natural reserved-ness, which affected Philip’s beliefs, found expression in his outer life and conduct also.

 

 

 

It was not merely modesty, but also a certain lack of self-reliance, that made Philip turn to Andrew for advice when the Greeks wished to see Jesus.

 

The story of Philip’s later life shows that he overcame those initial defects in his character, fulfilling the great commission in Mat 28:16-20.

 

Philip stands at the head of the second group of the twelve apostles.

 

 

 

 

BARTHOLOMEW

 

 

Luke 6:14 “Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew;”

 

Not much is known about Bartholomew.

 

Many scholars believe Bartholomew and Nathanael are the same, Joh 1:45-49.

 

In the first three gospels, Mat 10:3;

Mar 3:18; Luke 6:14, Philip and Bartholomew are constantly named together, whereas Nathanael is not mentioned.

 

In the fourth gospel Philip and Nathanael

are correspondingly combined, but nothing is said of Bartholomew.

 

Therefore, Nathanael is considered to also be Bartholomew.

 

Bartholomew was born in Cana of Galilee, Joh 21:2.

 

He was a very sincere man in whom there was no guile or wickedness.

 

 

John 1:45-46 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’

 

And Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’

 

 

One of the first characteristics of Nathaniel or Bartholomew was what appeared to be a prejudice in him, as when he says, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?”

 

This is not to condemn or judge, but merely to try to give you a picture of what he was like in the natural realm as well as the spiritual realm.

 

John 1:47-51 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’ Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’

 

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered Him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.’

 

Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.’

 

And He said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you shall see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.’

 

Nathanael or Bartholomew appears to be a calm, retiring, behind-the-scenes type whom man may not recognize, but God does.

 

According to tradition, he was crucified upside down after being flayed alive.

 

There is no further reference to him in the New Testament.

 

We will see MATTHEW and the rest on Sunday when we will celebrate the Lord’s supper with our beloved PT!