God’s Choice: The Unlikeliest Apostle
Sep 11, 2015 996
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle” (Rom. 1:1).
Jesus chose twelve men to be his apostles. One of them, Judas, was a very intelligent man who could have been one of the best.
The problem with Judas was that he valued his Zionist beliefs more than he valued Jesus’ teachings. Judas was looking for a Messiah who would free Israel from the Romans and who would establish his throne in old Jerusalem with him, Judas, as one of his chief officers. He believed his old wine was much better than Jesus’ new wine of setting the world free of sin. When he thought that Jesus was going off the tracks he tried his best to get him back on – in his own misguided way. He committed suicide when he realised his terrible mistake.
The eleven disciples elected Matthias to replace Judas (Acts 1:23-26), but we never hear of Matthias again. No doubt he did a great work, but the Lord had in mind another person, whom the eleven would never had chosen, as the twelfth apostle. The Lord chose a highly educated but religiously zealous man, who persecuted the Jews who became Christians and who presided over the execution of Stephen. God saw qualities in this man that would fit him for the very difficult mission that was his purpose.
The word apostle means one who is sent; one who is a missionary for the Lord. For Paul to accept this mission he would have to experience a total turn-around in his thinking. This change would be so radical it took the people who knew Paul a long time to accept that it had really happened.
Instead of Paul being a persecutor, he now became Paul the persecuted. This man chosen by Jesus had the grit to stick to his mission in spite of the many obstacles put in his way.
Is Jesus important enough to you that you are prepared to give up your friends and cherished beliefs to serve him if he convicts you to do so?