An Interesting Club

By , January 23, 2012

“…and Matthew the tax collector;”
Matthew 10:3

Gordon Rumford Ministries - Daily Devotional - An Interesting ClubThe disciples of Jesus were a group of very different people. Peter and his brother Andrew were partners in a fishing business (Matthew 4:18). Peter was dominant and Andrew quieter. Thomas (the pessimist and doubter John 11:14-16; John 20:24-25) was a fascinating person to have in the group, and why Jesus picked Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him, we may never know.

Simon the Zealot seemed very opposed to the Roman authorities presence in Jewish territory and on the other side of the equation was Matthew the tax collector, also a Jew, who worked for the Romans collecting taxes for the Romans from his fellow Jews.

Luke 8:2-3 makes it clear that some women also went along with Jesus and had the means to financially help support the group. Rabbis in Jesus day thought women were not worth teaching and so Jesus is seen going against the practice of His time to include them with the men. Luke makes this reference without apology or explanation.

As we go through the list it appears that most of the disciples were different as far as we are told anything about them. Jesus loved them all and sought to teach and bless every one of them. There is evidence that Jesus had three apostles who were especially close to Him, Peter, James and John. These three had the special privilege of seeing the transfiguration of Jesus described in Matthew 17:1-8. They also were taken farther into Gethsemane by Jesus after He had left the other 8 near the entrance.

All of the apostles seem to have been from Galilee except Judas Iscariot. It appears likely he was the only one from the southern area east of the Dead Sea. Andrew and Philip are Greek names even though they were also Jews. More conservative rabbis in Jesus’ time would not have chosen such men who appeared on the fringe of respectable Judaism of the time.

What I am trying to indicate by giving a brief sketch of the immediate followers of Jesus who walked daily with Him was the fact that they represented all segments of Jewish society. Patriots, aggressive, quiet and retiring, men and women, a betrayer, a doubter, you name the type of person and it seemed that Jesus had one of them. How our Lord kept the group together is beyond our understanding. We do know they had at least one fight among themselves (Luke 22:24).

Perhaps someone might respond to my comments that they all were Jews and so Jesus kept to that ethnic group. Indeed as a Jew Jesus came first to His own people. Yet, during His earthly ministry He did reach out to other groups at times (John 4:1-42) and in the resurrection He made it abundantly clear that His work was for the benefit of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).

Because it is clear Jesus wanted to be with people of all types, no one has any reason for deciding they are not of interest to Jesus. Jesus does not discriminate among people for any reason.

If you will come to Jesus today you are guaranteed a fine reception (John 6:37). He will not turn you away for any reason. Therefore come and come today.

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