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Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and 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, the one who betrayed Him. (Matthew 10:1-4)
Here they are, the motley crew Jesus called to be with him—New Testament nobodies! There are three sets of brothers, fishermen, a tax collector, two men who were called the “sons of thunder” and a radical zealot. All of these men had been rabbinical rejects, not selected by any rabbi to continue in religious education and therefore sent back home to take up the profession of their families. And now, these men have been personally selected to follow in the steps of Rabbi Jesus. These men give each of us hope!
This passage gives us some terrific insight into the beginnings of the Jesus movement. This summoning triggers a line in my thinking. “Leaders are not made or born, but summoned.” Jesus summoned these unlikely men into leadership that would change the world! Note what happened a few years later, when a couple of these leaders were on their own.
Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. (Acts 4:13-14)
NOTE 4 things. 1—These men were unlikely people—uneducated and untrained. 2—These men were unusually amazing and attractive to the people. 3—These men had been hanging out with Jesus and it was noticeable. 4—These men were instrumental (used by God) in bringing about supernatural healing.
The fact that the lame man was really healed shut the mouths of their potential critics. I call this the “lame man principle”. I’m learning that the most important evidence that draws people to consider Jesus has to do with the “lame men” in my life. Who are the broken, hurting, addicted and damaged people in my life that I have been summoned by Jesus to touch with His healing? And where are they? How are they doing? Do others see their healing? In other words, the only really important thing in life is how I get out of the way and introduce others to Jesus.
Where are the “lame men” in your life? How is it going?