The JV Team: Apostles on the Outskirts Sermon Audio Here
Someone on a JV team (or a character actor) is generally lesser known, sometimes to learn a skill (JV) or to fill a role (cast member); all are important to make a program work.
Luke 6:13-16 ~ what happened to the rest of the list? Peter, James, and John are considered Jesus’ Inner Circle. But what happened to those disciples who weren’t on the “inside”? We know Judas’ story? But what about Philip and Bartholomew? What happened to Doubting Thomas?
Once they leave the pages of Scripture, tracking the movements of the lesser known Apostles becomes more challenging. But no matter the historical sources that are used, three things are true of each of them that are helpful for us to remember today.
Remember THIS about the Apostles on the Outskirts:
They were SENT
1) that’s what Apostle means: one who is sent away; like a messenger or ambassador. Even though the lesser known Apostles didn’t have kind of impact on the church that Paul did, for example, they still carried out the charge that was given to them by Jesus: Follow Me.
They were MARTYRED
2) They gave all they had for a very good reason – All of Jesus’ band of followers ended up being killed for their faith. Their faith wasn’t a generic faith that God would be good to humanity; the issue at hand was very specific: Did Jesus rise from the dead? They all were violently killed because they would not deny the Resurrection of Christ.
3) They MATTERED as they scattered – as the Apostles dispersed, they did not all go the same direction: Andrew went to Russia; Thomas went to India. Matthew went to Ethiopia, while Philip went to North Africa. James son of Alpheus went to Syria, and Simon the Zealot went to Persia. Bartholomew went all over the place: India, Armenia, Ethiopia, and Southern Arabia.
The point is that many Christians in these areas of the world consider these Apostles as THEIR Apostle, responsible for bring them into God’s Kingdom, bringing light to darkness.
These JV’ers weren’t talked about much in the pages of Scripture, but they sure set a great example for us to imitate: Follow Jesus, Give it Everything You’ve Got, and Bring Light to a Dark world: THAT will make all the difference.