Twelve Into Millions
September 27, 2020
Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness (Matthew 10:1).
S.D. Gordon imagined Jesus’ return to heaven in His ascension. As the angel Gabriel greeted Jesus he asked, “Master, You died for the world, did You not?”
Jesus replied, “Yes.”
“You must have suffered much,” he said.
Jesus answered, “Yes, I did.”
“Do they all know that You died for them,” Gabriel asked.
“No. Only a few in Palestine know about it so far,” Jesus responded.
“Well then, what is Your plan for telling the rest of the world that You shed Your blood for them?” Gabriel asked.
Jesus responded, “Well, I asked Peter and James and John and Andrew and a few others if they would make it the business of their lives to tell others. And then the ones that they tell could tell others, and they in turn could tell still others, and finally it would reach the farthest corner of the earth and all would know the thrill and power of the gospel.”
“But suppose Peter fails? And suppose after a while John just doesn’t tell anyone? And what if James and Andrew are ashamed or afraid? Then what?” Gabriel asked.
“I have no other plans,” Jesus said. “I am counting entirely on them.”
This imaginary story was told by S.D. Gordon and cited by Herbert Lockyer in his book, All the Apostles of the Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972.
The calling of the 12 disciples served 1 ultimate purpose - to tell the world the Gospel of Jesus Christ until He comes again. All of them succeeded except Judas Iscariot. Jesus said (Matthew 28:18-20), All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. We have no other occupation.
Some would say Jesus took a big risk in entrusting this purpose to these men. What do you think? How many have come to faith in Jesus Christ because of their witness? Read Revelation 5:8-12. “. . . and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.” That means through the years an innumerable host have and will respond to the Gospel in saving faith. It began with 1 Man, Jesus Christ, teaching 12 men, and it eventually spread to multiplied millions. Where’s the risk?
“Thank You, Lord, for Your faith in us to carry on Your work in Your absence. Thank You for providing all that is necessary for an eventual great multitude that will gather in praise to God the Father in heaven. May we continue find ourselves worthy of Your trust as we seek those whom You have prepared to receive Your wonderful Gospel. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”