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John -- The Disciple Of Love (5 of 13)
12 Men Who Changed The World
INTRO: I want you to take God's Word now this morning and be finding your place at John chapter 13 if you would. We are continuing this morning in our series of studies on the 12 ordinary men who were called and commissioned by Jesus to accomplish some very extraordinary things.
ILLUS: It's kind of like that wise and wonderful statement by Phillip Brooks that we've all seen, either on a bumper sticker or a t-shirt or a cubicle wall, "Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks."
Now, if you're visiting with us this morning, or maybe you've just been playing hooky since the beginning of February, what we're doing in this series of studies is looking at and learning from the strengths and the weaknesses of the men who are known as "the 12 disciples" or "the 12 apostles." And the reason why I say that we're looking at and learning from their strengths and their weaknesses is because if you're going to really learn about a person, you've got to see them when they're at the top of their game and when they're down in a slump. You've got to watch them when they're hitting on all 8 cylinders and when they're totally out of gas. You've got to be there when they're bringing home straight A's as well as when the teacher calls mom and dad in for a conference. (Which never happened to me.)
That's one of the reasons why I love the Bible so much, it shows us people just the way they were -- like the old saying goes, "Warts and all." And as we study these bible biographies, I believe that it is wonderful and profitable for us to see a life as it was lived from the beginning to the end; to watch a person handle this circumstance or this crisis, to dig down and tap into the springs of their character and to discover the secret of their personal power.
ILLUS: To quote Dr. Lockyer again, "This is why the Bible -- the biography of humanity (I love that phrase) -- is so appealing, dealing as it does with life, with personalities, with human problems, needs, weaknesses and triumphs."
That's why we're studying these twelve men -- they walked with Jesus. They talked with Jesus. They ate with Jesus. They spent 24 hours a day with God in the flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ. They had opportunities for spiritual instruction and Christian service that nobody else will ever be able to surpass. And yet, as you look at their lives, they had feet of clay just like we do. They had their issues just like we do. In short -- they were ordinary, everyday men. Peter, a fisherman. Andrew, a fisherman. James, a fisherman. (Have you ever wondered why the first men who Jesus called to follow Him and become His disciples were fishermen? Could it be that it takes patience to be a fisherman? Could it be that it takes endurance to be a fisherman? Could it be that fishermen would be used to the rough, tough life that was to l ...
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