Peter:Implusive, hot tempered, insightful, couragious and solid
James: Vengeful, selfish, conceited, committed and couragious
John:Vengeful, fiery, judgemental, selfish, bold, loving, compassionate
Andrew: Enthusiastic, inquisitive, resourceful
Philip: Practical, helpful, literal, confused
Bartholomew: Skeptic, honest, faithful
Matthew: Penitent, hospitable
Thomas: Inquisitive, doubtful, couragious, faithful
James son of Alphaeus: ?
Thaddaeus: Inquisitive, confused
Simon the Zealot: Patriotic, loyal, passionate, sacrificial
Judas: Greedy, deceitful, treacherous, remorseful
Wow, twelve men, and so many characteristics. Some of good quality and others that cause us to struggle. But what is amazing to me is the fact that God used all of these characteristics to bring glory and honor to Him. He used these qualities to teach us, to lead us, and to point us in way of growth.
Just as these men, this group of fishermen left all to follow Jesus, they were on a pathway to growth and men who became new creations in Christ. They were not perfect as Jesus, they too had their faults just as you and I, but that didn't stop them from being used of God. Maybe Jesus chose them just for that fact, for the simply fact to show us, He loves us for us, and if we are carrying characteristics that are not of good quality, He can change us to look more like Him.
When He chose these twelve He chose them for a distinct purpose. He saw something special in them. He saw real men, who had passion and I am sure He knew that passion could be put to use for the kingdom of Christ. God not only has a purpose and plan for us, but those who are willing vessels can be used greatly of God. As small as we are, in Him we are mighty!
As they put down their nets to follow Him, as they put down those qualitities they struggled with, Jesus filled their nets with great catch, and gave them strength to overcome their weakness through Him. They too had a free will just as we do. We know they followed and they walked away, coming back to Him. But not all did, did they? We know how Judas turned on His Savior. He allowed greed to overcome him. Peter allowed pride to come between him and Jesus. These twelve men struggled with the same things we do, and I don't think that was a coincidence. Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. This group of men gave up all, but at times they all struggled with their flesh, just as we do.
These were friends of Jesus, and a few were part of His inner circle. These men walked with Him daily, and still doubted, still were confused, but they had great faith. What an honor to take your sandels off at the door with Jesus. What an honor just to walk with Him. We too have that honor. We can walk with Him daily and serve Him as He calls. He knows us by name my friends. We can only be as close to Him as we choose to be. We can know Him more. We can understand Him more, and we can walk in His steps, just as these twelve did, but with new eyes, new freedom, and with a new passion.
Ever feel like Jesus can't use you? Maybe you see yourself as just one, what could just one do? Look at what Jesus did with twelve? Look at the impact they made on the world and those around them. With Jesus all is possible. All He is looking for is one man to walk with Him. That walk between You and He is precious. No other has the same walk or the same steps. Just as we are all unique with different characteristics, so is our walk with Jesus.
As these disciples were walking with Jesus they were instructed by Him and He focused on them, each as though they were the only one. They had conversations together, they prayed together, they ate together, they served together, they cried together, they laughed together, and they carried Christ's message together. That sounds like a special relationship to me. One that we can have today as we walk with Him ourselves.
Take all those unique qualities you have and allow the Lord to shine through them. You were made for a purpose, and what a plan Jesus has for you!
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts toward that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
Matthew 4:19 "Then Jesus said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
1 Corinthians 7:7 "For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that."
Its time for us to kick off those sandals and jump in! Pick up your net and see just what Jesus can fill it with today!