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Craig Meyer. 2018/10/14

12 Men who changed the world - Matthew, Simon and Judas.

Unfortunately our sermon could not be recorded due to a power outage. For your interest we have included the sermon notes here in case you missed out on this weeks series.


The word “disciple” in the original Greek translates as “learner”, not just intellectual learning, but especially by use and practice.

Standard practice was to either enter into Apprenticeship with a Rabbi by 15 years or if not chosen, to go into the family business.

From 18 one could get married, from 20 pay temple tax, at 30 become a rabbi and hold positions of authority.

Jesus turns the culture upside down!

  • Chooses those who had been overlooked

  • Brings them into his life, not just His classroom,

  • Gives them Responsibility AND Authority at a very Young Age!

They had no extraordinary skills.

They were neither religious nor refined; they were ordinary people, just like you and me.

Jesus knew their personalities both strong and weak

Jesus knew these men would disappoint him, deny him, desert him and betray him

But Jesus ALSO knew that these men once, filled with the Holy Spirit would be the first witnesses of the gospel and carry God’s message of redemption to the ends of the earth.

Luke 5:27 After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, 28 and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.

29 Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

31 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

Today, we have the same opportunity; to begin the life long journey of Discipleship as we build meaningful relationships with leaders that will disciple us and who we will allow to challenge and stretch us towards maturity.

  • Have someone like that or Seek one out!!

It’s interesting that Jesus chose young guys to pour his life into!

2 were 30

4 were 20’s

7 as young as 16!

Good for us all to learn the strengths of the young, flexible, willing to serve, expectant, teachable, up for a challenge…

A Mother’s Letter I’m going to read a letter a mother sent to her 15-year-old son. I’ve replaced their names to guard their privacy.  Here’s why I’m curious: Should this letter have been sent? Do you think it will prove helpful or harmful? Here it is: “Dearest __________, “… I have much to say to you, I’m afraid not of a pleasant nature. You know, darling, how I hate to find fault with you, but I can’t help myself this time… Your report which I enclose is as you will see a very bad one. You work in such a fitful, inharmonious way, that you are bound to come out last – look at your place in the form! Your father and I are both more disappointed than we can say, that you are not able to go up for your preliminary exam: I daresay you have 1000 excuses for not doing so – but there the fact remains… “Dearest __________ you make me very unhappy – I had built up such hopes about you and felt so proud of you – and now all is gone. My only consolation is that your conduct is good and you are an affectionate son – but your work is an insult to your intelligence. If you would only trace out a plan of action for yourself and carry it out and be determined to do so – I am sure you could accomplish anything you wished. It is that thoughtlessness of yours which is your greatest enemy… “I will say no more now – but __________ you are old enough to see how serious this is to you – and how the next year or two and the use you make of them, will affect your whole life – stop and think it out for yourself and take a good pull before it is too late. You know dearest boy that I will always help you all I can. “Your loving but distressed, Mother” Okay, it’s time I came clean. This isn’t a recent letter, but one taken from history. It was from London, June 12, 1890, to be exact. And I’ll give you the mother’s name. It was Jennie. Jennie Churchill. And her 15-year-old boy’s name was, … Winston. So when reflecting on Winston’s life, don’t forget his mother’s influence. And maybe whisper a prayer that there will continue to be moms taking up pen and paper – or text and email – to say precisely what their sons need to hear.

When we think of Jesus calling these young men, it easy to fear the worst!

But even for Winston Churchill, having someone that has the right to speak into your life, and change your world!

Who would have thought that the 15 Year WC (1889) could become a 20 yrs 2nd Lieutenant at war, (1895)

a Prisoner of War in Pretoria at 25, (1899)

hold his first Political office at 26, (1900)

and 40 yrs later become the Prime minister to win the 2nd world war in his 60’s (66-71yrs 1940-45)

and again in his late 70’s! (76-81yrs 1951-55)

I’m asking us that we make room in our hearts for young guys and girls to have the opportunity to fly!

For us to have faith for them beyond possible doubtful starts and allow God to grow them into world changers!

For us who are not so young, to have the heart of the young disciples,

Flexible, teachable, willing to risk, slow to take offence!

  1. Mathew

  • Mid 20’s

  • Known as Levi

  • Worked as a Tax collector

  • Collaborator with Rome against own people

  • Tax collectors used to pay Rome upfront and then exact as much extra as they could from the people.

  • Despised and out cast by his people

  • Placed personal interests and wealth over people

  • Corrupt harsh and devious

  • Repents and immediately leaves his way of life

  • Jesus is not just for the holy or the good, but for anyone who will admit their need of him.

  • Mathew is self-centred, and Pro Rome for Personal benefit, willing to sacrifice others for His personal Cause.

  1. What does Mathew Teach Us?

Mt 19: 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

CF Mt 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


  • Jesus doesn’t only call the acceptable, but those who acknowledge their NEED of Him!

  • That my Personal Life is Safe with Jesus.

  • What Must I leave Behind?

  • What wont I give up?

  • Identity: Mathew had wealth, position, status

  • Independence: Making his own way in the world, not dependant on anyone – definitely not God!!!

  • Modus Operandi: his way of doing things

  1. Simon

  • Teens or early 20’3

  • Jewish Nationalist called Zealots

  • Patriotic and proud of his culture

  • Wanted to over throw Rome by Force

  • Willing to die for the cause OPP TO M

  • Simon was a political freedom fighter

  • Surrenders and submits to a new future, even when so committed to old way of life

  • Learns Kingdom Culture

  • Simon is violently anti Rome and wants to bring independence by force. Willing to sacrifice himself for the National cause.

  • Would have been know to Roman authorities, and may have been on

  1. What Does Simon Teach Us?

  • That my World is Safe with Jesus.

  • Jesus before my cultural or national interests.

  • My Inner world is of Eternal significance, My outer world will pass away.

  • Maybe he was drawn to Jesus’ declaration of Kingdom, but it wouldn’t take long for him to realise that Jesus wasn’t a political liberator.

Some how Jesus changes them and gets them to work together!

  1. Judas Iscariot.

  • 20’s

  • Was the disciples treasurer

  • Also from tribe of Judah, same as Jesus.

  • Probably well educated.

  • Devious, underhanded, sold out to money and greed, despicable, a coward, untrustworthy, hypocritical, a disappointment and a betrayer.

  • Withheld his heart,

  • Betrays Jesus

  • he took advantage of his intimate relation with Jesus Christ as a disciple to put Him in the hands of His enemies

  • Jesus Calls him friend.

  • 30 silver coins = 120 days wages.

  1. What Does Judas Teach Us?

John 12: 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Mt 26: 22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Lord: Master, Authority, honour respect

Rabbi: “Honourable sire, Teacher

  • Respond to Rebuke

  • Leave the Mary alone – she is doing something spiritual.

  • Peter was cut to the heart, Judas hard is hardened even more

  • What is our love?

  • He didn’t discern a spiritual moment because his mind was consumed with the money.

  • Near to Jesus but not with Jesus

  • All the other disciples call Jesus LORD

  • He was close to Jesus as they were, but heart was far from Jesus.

  • They give him authority over their lives, Judas identifies Jesus as AN authority in teaching and principals.

  • Someone to learn form not someone to give life to. / Worship

  • He feels Jesus is a teacher only, therefore Judas can disagree and challenge opinion e.g. money for worship or for own use, because we are only engaging intellectually!

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