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Trusting Effective Followers...
Scripture: Luke 6:12-16
Track 8 of 12 in the A Transforming Church . . . Lives By Transforming Values series
Running time: 33 minutes, 31 seconds.

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Chuck Sackett Speaker: Chuck Sackett
Dr. G. Charles Sackett is minister of Madison Park Christian Church.

View all sermons by this speaker.

"The Twelve"

Do you ever wonder about the subtleties of Scripture? Things like numbers, placement of stories, ordering of events? Such things always matter, it's just that some time we don't notice them.

In our text today (Luke 6:12-16), Jesus selects "the twelve." Out of his many followers, after a night of prayer, He choose twelve. Why twelve? Why a night of prayer? Why right after a Sabbath controversy (6:1-11) and right before the "sermon on the plain" (6:17-49)?

The "sermon on the plain" describes the life of a genuine follower of Christ. It's what a disciple's life looks like. For the Jewish nation, the law was a blessing because it showed them how to live in a God-honoring, God-worshiping relationship with Yahweh.

From creation, God established a "day of rest" that was to honor Him. It benefited man while honoring God. It reflected creation, but it was also part of covenant. The twelve tribes of Israel were to honor God and take care of themselves by keeping a Sabbath.

Twelve "tribes" of Israel--the nation that was to be God's people. But sin and disobedience had reduced God's people to simply Judah and a few others. The hope of Israel was the Messiah. He would come and restore the nation . . . He would fulfill the law . . . He would give them rest. Just before Moses recieved the Law from God he had a conversation with God (Exodus 19). Then he announced the Law and reminded them of God's covenant with them. With that covenant He was creating a nation . . . a people for His very own (Exodus 19:5-6). They would be His "chosen" (Deuteronomy 7:6, e.g.).

Look again at our text. After a night of prayer, Jesus "chooses" (vs. 13) twelve men to be his apostles. This night of prayer, this choosing of the twelve, comes between a Sabbath controversy and the sermon on the plain. It is as if God were saying . . . just like back in Exodus, I'm establishing my people, I'm choosing my nation.

Through the apostles God has established His household (Ephesians 2:19-22). He has created a "holy nation, belonging to Him" (1 Peter 2:9:10). The church is the "Israel of God" (Galatians 5:16). Original Israel failed. They broke the covenant. They killed the prophets. They crucified the Messiah.

What will the new Israel do? Will we be faithful? Will we be honorable before God? Will we be His new people? Will we establish His name in all the earth? Will we be "lights to the nations"?