Two cowboys had fallen on hard times. They had heard about the U. S. Calvary. They were hired as bounty hunters and offered ten dollars for each Apache they brought in. Their first night out, they camped in the open plain. When one of them woke the next morning, he saw a thousand apaches’s surrounding their camp, armed to the teeth. He shook his partner awake and said, ‘‘Wake up, Tex. We’re rich!’’
That’s purposeful passion. Tonight we are studying about a man who was handpicked by the Lord to be one of his apostles. His name is Simon Zelotes, or Simon the Canaanite. Canaanite is a Hebrew derivative for Zealot.
Simon is always listed with the twelve. However, we know less about him than any of the other apostles.
There are a few clues in the Word as to his background and his usefulness as an apostle. I want us to look at these clues tonight.
1. THE COMPREHENDING OF THIS DISCIPLE
Simon is one name that is well known in the NT. We immediately think of Simon Peter. However, this Simon is not well known. The Bible does give a clue as to his background when it distinguishes him from the other Simon by calling him the zealot.
We must go into the intertestamental period to find out what a zealot was. The OT includes history from creation to 400 B. C. The NT does not take up again until around 5 B. C. We end Malachi with Palestine under Persian rule. We begin Matthew with Palestine under Roman rule.
Palestine was a puppet state. There was some freedom loving Jews who hated their plight. Things were bad. Antiochus Epiphanes sought to eliminate Judaism. He sacrificed a pig in the temple and took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar.
There was a family by the name of Macabees who led in opposition to Antiochus. They were a political religious group. The Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots hated the foreigners controlling their country. They opposed a king. They opposed a democracy. They wanted a the ...
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