Called to Family | Luke 6:12-16

YouTube video sermon

Jesus came to save ALL people!


Luke 6:12-16 ESV In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. (13) And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: (14) Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, (15) and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, (16) and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

  • Søren Kirkegaard, an old Danish Theologian, used to tell a story about a barnyard full of big, fat, sleek geese, who had long since lost the ability to fly. But every seventh day they would waddle over to one corner of the barnyard and the biggest and fattest goose (probably in a black robe) would stand up on a stump and proclaim the glory of being geese. Occasionally, while this fat goose was talking, a honking would be heard overhead, the honking of a wild goose flying so high it couldn’t even be seen. In hushed silence, the barnyard geese would stop for a moment to look and listen. Then the sermon would resume, extolling the joys of being geese.
  • I think there is a lot to be learned from Jesus calling of the 12 disciples… especially when it comes to running a church. Because when you really think about it, Jesus just established the first ever Christian church.
    • The first ever family of believers who were sold out for following Christ.
    • They would fellowship together, pray together, eat together, learn together, grow together, and serve together.
      • They would each have callings, they would go out into the world and make disciples, and eventually they would change the world. All through Christ and for Christ.
      • This was the first church, and it has to be the most effective church that ever existed, these 12 men literally evangelized the world… and one of them was a betrayer, and yet still they changed the world.
      • This was not a group of 12 fat and sleek geese, like many churches are today, no this was a group of mountain moving, Christ preaching, sickness healing, dead raising, tongue talking, future prophesying, world changers!
    • And I think we can learn from just this small passage of text how we too can be that kind of world changer, that kind of evangelistic church, and how we can avoid being a bunch of fat sleek geese.


Luke 6:12-13 ESV In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. (13) And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

  • Before we really get into the meat of today’s message I want to talk about who these 12 men were… just give you a little background information on them.
    • Simon, whom He also named Peter, son of Jonah, and one of the most prominent of the apostles. He was a lower class citizen, married, and slightly educated. He ran his mouth far to much, but also had the faith to walk on water. He would see Jesus on the mount of transfiguration and he would deny Jesus before his crucifixion. Peter was all over the place, but he loved God and loved Christ, and God used that! Peter was probably illiterate and used scribes to write his works.
    • John, son of Zebedee was also a fisherman and would later wright 5 books of the Old Testament. He too was probably illiterate and used a scribe to pen his works.
    • Bartholomew, generally understood to be another name for Nathanael was likely the only disciple to come from Royal blood, being called the Son of Tolmai who was a King in the region and who is of the line of David.
    • Matthew, the tax collector, also named Levi wrote the first gospel. He was educated, likely wealthy, and not liked by many people at the time he started following Jesus.
    • Simon called the Zealot. Zealots were Jewish political activists who would do ANYTHING to advance Judaism.
    • And then of course there is Judas Iscariot, the one who would betray Jesus.
  • Now I know that’s not all of them, but I don’t want to spend too much time talking about the individuals, but what I do want you to notice is how diverse the group seems to be.

Point One – Our Family is to be Diverse

  • Point one this morning is that our Family should be diverse. And I am not talking about our blood relatives, y’all understand that?
    • I am talking about our Jesus’ blood relatives.
  • If we are going to be an effective church family we have got to be diverse!
    • Look at the disciples Jesus chose.
      • Poor Fishermen,
      • Rich nobility.
      • You have a very well educated tax collector, and a handful of men who were simple and uneducated.
    • Y’all see what I am getting at here?
    • The disciples were not all men of outstanding intellect or ability.
      • They represented a cross-section of humanity.
      • The thing that made them great was their relationship to Jesus and their commitment to Him.
        • Guy’s, I want our church to be great in two areas, ok… just two! I want us to be great in our relationship with Jesus and I want us to be great in Softball, is that too much to ask? 😉
        • But really church, I want us to be great in Jesus, and if we are going to be great in Jesus we need to be diverse.
      • And there are two reasons we need to be diverse, here they are in no particular order… I couldn’t decide which should go first, so I think they are equally important…
      • Three reasons why our family needs to be diverse:
        • Iron Sharpens Iron
        • A body has many members
        • We need to be all things to all people so that some might be saved.

Proverbs 27:17 ESV Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

  • We, as a family, sharpen one another.
  • We challenge one another to grow more and more like Christ.
  • We each have different strengths, different weaknesses, different callings, different gifts, different experiences.
    • And when we put all of that together we each get stronger just by fellowshipping with one another and growing together.
  • Can you imagine how weak our church would be if we were all late 20’s early 30’s video gamers?
    • Sure we would have a bunch of fun playing video games all the time, but we would never challenge each other to grow, to change, to be stronger… we would be happy just as we are like a bunch of fat geese standing around talking about how great it is to be a goose and never learning how to fly.
  • But as it stands we are much more diverse than that, praise God.
    • The younger men of the church can learn from the wisdom of the older men.
    • The older men can be inspired by the vigor of the younger men.
    • The married couples can help raise up a new generation as they look for spouses.
    • Those with kids can help those who are having kids.
    • Those with grand kids can help new grandparents to be.
    • Together as a church we have SO MUCH experience in SO MANY DIFFERENT AREAS that I truly believe there is no task that we could not figure out a way to handle, praise God.
    • And because we are so diverse we strengthen one another, amen?!
  • You ever heard that phrase “Jack of all trades, master of none”? Normally it’s used as an insult, but the full phrase is a complement! Did you know that, the full phrase goes like this: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
    • So what, we don’t have a church full of professional softball players… it doesn’t matter, because we are so diverse that we can handle and excel at ANY challenge God may call us to, not just one. Amen!?
  • Speaking of that, a body has many parts, amen?
  • It seems to me the least diverse families are the least effective.

1 Corinthians 12:12 ESV (12) For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

  • Now, in a way to excuse their own lack of diversity I have heard many churches preach this verse as if it means “Each church should have a specialty because each church is a part of the Body of Christ”.
    • But in reality Paul is writing to people in a single church, the church in Corinth, And he was talking about spiritual gifts, and how everyone in that church needs to have a diversity of gifts so that the body can work effectively.
    • Look, if everyone in our church had the gift of words of knowledge and words of wisdom… we would have a problem… we would never make it through worship because we would have 20 people lined up to give a word to the church.
      • But if no one had these gifts we might miss a word of encouragement or correction that God has for us.
    • If everyone was a gifted worship leader who would be left to be led?
      • But if no one was a worship leader you would have to put up with the preacher trying to lead worship, and that dude can’t carry a tune in a bucket!
    • If everyone was incredibly gifted spiritually but no one was gifted practically the church would struggle to keep organized and practical.
      • If everyone was practically gifted but there was no spiritual giftings then the church would run GREAT… but nothing would get done spiritually and we would just be another secular organization.
    • We have to be diverse to be an effective body. We need eyes, we need feet, we need hands and we need arms, we need ears and we need noses, we need legs and we need heads… We have to be diverse as a church family.
  • And I think most importantly, we need to be diverse because we need to be all things to all people.

1 Corinthians 9:20-22 ESV (20) To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. (21) To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. (22) To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.

  • Guys I want our church to be all things to all people that some might be saved.
    • If our church was filled with nothing but late 20s to early 30 video gaming men, that would be awesome… for me and Zion and Jared and Mike… We would play TONS of video games, and we would be really good at reaching other gamers…
      • But we would struggle to connect with single moms.
      • We would struggle to reach the foreign refuge…
      • Outreach to the homeless probably wouldn’t be a top priority…
      • And missions would consist of playing games online with other countries… not exactly what Jesus meant in the great commission.
    • I praise God for the diversity in the church, because it really helps me connect with other people.
      • I just meet a man from Gahna… and I said: I know a church in Acra, I have friends named Kumi and Kofi and Kwami, my wife has been there, you should make us Jalaf rice sometime!
        • His face lit up! Not only did I know were his country was, I knew things about it… I showed that I cared… To a Gahnian, to the best of my abilitites I was a Gahnian, and it formed a connection I never would have formed if I did not have Gahnian friends…
      • I pay close attention to what Joshua and Machia think are cool, because if I meet a teen I want to be able to connect, if even just a little bit, so I learned how to floss! I learned what phrases like “Bet” and “Guchi” mean, I let kids laugh at me when I try to be cool, but it forms a connection.
      • Whenever I meet someone from Congo I say “Bonjure, Coment ale vu?” and they say “Tre’ bein! Parla vu France?!” to which I respond “no not a word, where do you go to church”. And they laugh and we have a conversation.
      • Heck! Just this week I meet a man who was selling his house, he had started finishing his basement but hadn’t finished, y’all we bonded over talking about nailing 2×4’s together to frame a basement… Dude wasn’t a gamer, he wasn’t a Christian, we probably had nothing in common, but I know how to frame a basement because we have carpenters in our church whom I have learned from.
      • I don’t want to be a white church, because I don’t want to only lead white people to Jesus.
      • I don’t want to be a church full of women, because I would like to led men to Jesus too!
      • I don’t want to be a young church, because more mature people need Jesus too.
      • I don’t want to be an American church because foreigners need Jesus.
      • I don’t want to be a foreigner church because Americans need Jesus.
      • I don’t want to be a homeless church because rich people need Jesus…
      • And I don’t want to be a rich people church because homeless people need Jesus.
    • I want to be a church for ALL people so that SOME people might be saved!
      • But pastor Christian! You need to have a target demographic!
        • I do have a target demographic: People. That’s my demographic… people.
      • But how will you attract people if you don’t cater to a certain type of People…
        • I have no Idea, but the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ seems to be a sufficient of a reason for people to come, worship, and serve… so I will stick with that…
          • When Jay and Teresa came to church the first time Pastor Teresa made this comment, she said “Huh, we are the oldest people in this church right now… that’s weird.”
          • And I was like “Welp, that’s the last time we see them” But God had different plans!
        • Guy’s I have been to the pretty people church were everyone looks great and all the women have designer purses and every car in the parking lot is less than 5 years old.
        • And I have been to the church full of homeless people and the whole place smells like cigarettes and gasoline.
          • And I don’t want to throw shade because these churches are preaching the Gospel, praise God for that.
        • But I just don’t see that model in Scripture for a church, (I am not talking about ministries that work alongside the church and within the church, these ministries are effective and needed)
        • But as a church I think we can be way more effective as a diverse family then we ever will be with one type of people group.
      • And that means we are going to be around people that make us uncomfortable…
      • People who we don’t understand.
        • PRAISE GOD! That’s an opportunity for us to grow, to learn, to sharpen and be sharpened, amen?!
      • Now speaking of people that make us uncomfortable, that brings us to point two this morning: Our family will include betrayal.

Point two – Our Family Will Include Betrayal

  • Look how this section of scripture starts, then look how it ends…

Luke 6:12-13 ESV In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. (13) And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

Luke 6:16 ESV and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

  • Jesus spent all day and night praying… then he ends up with Judas Iscariot… the traitor…
    • Side note, you have to feel bad for Judas son of James… two disciples names Judas? Probably why he went by Thaddaeus the rest of the time in Scripture!
    • But the reality is, Judas was part of God’s plan! SOMEONE HAD TO BETRAY JESUS.
    • Jesus Honored God by allowing a betrayer to be with him, by letting a betrayer be a disciple, an apostle.
  • Why do I share this? Because some people are SO AFRAID of being hurt that they put up walls and barriers and walls to letting people in.
    • Church we have got to stop that noise!
    • If God has told you to be a part of this church, then He has told you to be a part of this family!
      • Is there people you don’t like? So what! There are people in my blood family that I don’t like, they are still family.
      • You have been hurt by so many people in the church?
        • MAN, SO HAVE I! Amanda and I get hurt all the time! Some people think the word Pastor would be better translated into doormat because that’s how we get treated.
        • But we do it all for the sake of the Gospel! And I would do it all again, over and over again.
      • Y’all if Jesus could live alongside they guy who would MURDER Him, you can live alongside the people who get on your nerves.
    • And here’s the things, church, it may just be part of God’s plan for you to be betrayed.
      • Maybe you need to be betrayed, so you can have compassion and empathy for those who you are going to minister to who have been betrayed.
      • Maybe you need to be hurt, so you can come out stronger because of it.
      • Maybe God want’s to test you, will you rejoice in suffering or will you run from suffering…
    • This is one of my favorite verses, I quote it a lot:

Romans 5:3-5 ESV Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, (4) and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, (5) and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

  • Man I want endurance and character and hope, so I have to be ok with suffering, amen.
  • And not just suffering, but Christ like suffering…

1 Peter 4:12-13 ESV Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. (13) But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

  • Peter was literally talking to people who were facing being burned to death for their faith…
    • And we are worried about getting unfriended on Facebook…
    • I am just trying to put it into perspective, church, it’s convicting to me to.
  • What excuse do we have to not form bonds of friendship and fellowship and family?
    • Maybe this is not you, but I have heard this so many times, that people are afraid of being hurt so they don’t let people in.
    • We are so afraid of the one disciple who might betray us that we turn our back on the other 11.
      • Y’all we are never going to grow as a church family if we do that.
      • We are never going to have that iron sharpens iron effect of being in a church family if we do that.
      • And the truth is, the devil will STILL find a way to hurt you anyway, so you really no better off pushing people away anyways.
    • But if we are willing to be a Diverse church, and we are truly willing to be a family, then let me tell you something, church, WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. That’s point three this morning. Our Family can change the world.

Point Three – Our Family Can Change the World

Luke 6:13 ESV And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:

  • What did these 12 men do for Christ? Let me tell you what they did after Jesus’ death and Resurrection:
    • SIMON PETER was martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. He was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
    • ANDREW went to the “land of the man-eaters,” in what is now the Soviet Union. Christians there claim him as the first to bring the gospel to their land. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.
    • “Doubting” THOMAS was probably most active in the area east of Syria. Tradition has him preaching as far east as India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.
    • PHILIP had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa and then in Asia Minor, where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested and cruelly put to death.
    • MATTHEW the tax collector and writer of a Gospel, ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
    • BARTHOLOMEW had widespread missionary travels attributed to him by tradition: to India with Thomas, back to Armenia, and also to Ethiopia and Southern Arabia.
    • JAMES the son of Alpheus, is one of at least three James referred to in the New Testament. There is some confusion as to which is which, but this James is reckoned to have ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and

then clubbed to death.

  • SIMON THE ZEALOT, so the story goes, ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
  • MATTHIAS was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.
  • JOHN is the only one of the company generally thought to have died a natural death from old age. He was the leader of the church in the Ephesus area. During Domitian’s persecution in the middle 90’s, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. There he is credited with writing the last book of the New Testament—the book of Revelation.
  • Now it’s true that reports and legends abound and they are not always reliable, but it is safe to say that the apostles went far and wide as heralds of the message of the risen Christ.
    • They carried the Gospel into all of the world…
      • Under the very real threat of death, which all but John experienced as martyrs…
      • Without airplanes, without cars or trains…
      • These 12 men changed the world.
    • I look at our church and I see… about 12 people! Ok maybe a little more than that…
      • I look at our church and I think… what did those 12 apostles have that we don’t have? What did they have that we don’t have, church?
      • Do we not have the privilege of walking with Jesus as they did?
      • Do we not have Holy Spirit walking with us, moving inside of us, helping us?
      • Do we not have many mighty and miraculous gifts from God given to us by and in the Holy Spirit?
      • Are we not sent as they were sent?
      • Does He not go with us as He went with them?
    • I truly believe that there is nothing stopping us from being as effective as they were.
      • There is nothing stopping us, but us, church…
    • But if we can truly be a family like the original 12 were, if we can be the family we were called to be, just like Jesus called the original 12, we can change the world! I truly believe it!
    • In John 14:12 Jesus says this:

John 14:12 ESV “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

  • I believe we can do greater things, church, but we have to do it as a family, amen?!


  • In conclusion, I just want to end with this… lets go back to the geese…
    • As we think about church services, I want to be a church that caters not to the fat and sleek banyard geese…
    • But I want to be a church for the wild geese among us who are meant to be lean, hard, and fly high, take risks, and live out the Word of God.
    • When we come to church we come down from the stratosphere, bloody, boken, and hungry.
    • We feast with our family, get up and go again as God leads us.
    • Let’s not leave church today rating the sermon or the worship set… but let us leave, together, as a diverse and strong family, ready for the fight, asking “What did God say to me today? What did God do with me today? Where is God sending me this week”
    • Let’s be that kind of church, amen?! And if we are we are going to change the world, amen?!