Friday, October 9, 2009

Called to Follow - The Final Three

Today we look at the final three disciples, James (son of Alpheus), Judas (not Iscariot), and Simon Zelotes. I put them together as one days work because unlike the others, these three had almost nothing written about them in scripture. They each show their name on the list as one of the twelve but otherwise we see very little about their journey with Christ.

James, son of Alpheus is believed by many scholars to be the brother of Matthew. They believe this to be true because of Mark 2:14 which tells us that Matthew's father was also named Alpheus.

Others believe that this James is the one called "James the Less" in Mark 15:40. Although, there really is no real proof to this claim. If it were to be true, he could have been a cousin of Jesus.

If James wrote anything, it has been lost to history. He never really rose to any kind of fame or received any real notoriety.

Judas (not Iscariot) was also referred to as Lebbeus "whose surname was Thaddeus" and Judas the son of James.
We see one account in scripture where he is in conversation with Jesus on the night before Jesus’ arrest. The disciples, having eaten their meal, were being taught by Jesus. Judas (not Iscariot) questions Jesus, trying to understand his teaching.

Jesus teaches “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

John 14:22 - Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?"

He didn't get it. He didn't understand what Jesus was trying to say to them. But he had enough of a closeness to know he could let Jesus know his uncertainty. However little written about him in scripture, we see that he was certain of Jesus' love. He also knew he could approach Jesus with his lack of understanding. He was teachable yes, but he was also humble enough to ask Jesus to explain when he did not understand what was being taught.

Then there is Simon Zelotes who was also known as Simon the Canaanite. Simon the “zealous one.” Zelotes in Greek meant "zealous one." Canaanite is an English transliteration of the Aramaic word Kanna'ah which also means "zealous one."

We are not told when he was called to follow Jesus but it stands to reason it could have been at the same time as Andrew, Peter, James and John.

Simon Zelotes had a fiery temperament and belonged to the Jewish sect Zelotes. Zelotes were considered political outlaws, extremist. They stubbornly resisted Roman rule and stirred up rebellion among the Jews. Simon's spirit was a stubborn and rebellious one. At least it was until Jesus got a hold of him.

All three of these men were not stand outs in our text of scripture. They did nothing of great notoriety that was written about. But it does not mean they did nothing important for the cause of Christ.

They were all founding members of the early church. They preached the gospel and were consider enough of a threat that they were killed for their faith. They may have been in the background with little fame shown to them, but that by no means says they were less important.

For most of us who serve Jesus Christ, this will be the type of disciple we will be. In the background, little notoriety, doing the small stuff that must be done. Does that make us less important to the kingdom? I would say absolutely not!

The woman that makes a meal to help another. The man that mows a neighbor’s lawn. The child that is taught by the Sunday school teacher. The mother who molds her child. Are these jobs less in the kingdom? No, they are vital. They are humbling yes. But Jesus was also a humble servant who washed the feet of others.

Matthew 11:29 - Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Jesus tells us to "learn" from him. We are to learn who to be from who He is. What does he say about who He is? He says, "I am gentle and lowly in heart."

He is gentle and humble in heart. He says "I need no approval from man! I need not to be thought of as the Pharisee think of themselves. I am here to be a servant. To do My Fathers work."

Jesus says to be like Him, gentle and humble, a servant to others. Not needing the accolades and notoriety. Doing the work of the Father no matter how lowly it may be feel.

What does he say we will get when we do? Rest for our souls! We get rest for our souls! Don't you want rest for your soul? I know I so need that. I need to stop striving and learn from Jesus. I need that rest for my soul.

His yoke is easy and his burden is light because it is no longer our burden. If we just follow and take his yoke He will carry us through what ever our circumstances are.

Let's learn from him and find the rest that we need. Let’s go to Him now.


chevonee said...

This post really blessed me...your knowledge of the Word of God is BRILLIANT!! I look forward to reading more from you! Remain blessed

Angela said...

Sherri, I came to see who this 'woman' was that decided to follow along at my Sacrificial Diet blog...

I got to tell ya girl!!!! I LOVED LOVED the NO PRESSURE at the side bar!!

Not only do I relate to everything you wrote, but God is the One that keeps reminding me at Free Spirit Haven blog that I have.

It's not about me, it ALL about Him.!

oh, how we need to keep that focus....It's a battle at times to get caught in the blogland and forget why the Lord brought us to this place to begin with.

blessings sweet sister...Praise God Christ IS increasing and we ARE decreasing!! All glory to the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
amen amen amen

Billy Coffey said...

I'm amazed at your breadth of knowledge here, Sherri. That was very informative!

Georgy said...


I am georgy. I see you’ve got a wonderful blog. Care for a blogroll exchange with mine? Please reply.

Georgy N Joseph

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks everyone! God bless!