Luke 6:12-13

The Gospel of Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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-We’ve come to Luke 6:12 this morning.
-As always, I would invite (and encourage) you to follow along in your Bibles.
-We’ve come to something of an epochal shift in Luke’s narrative of the gospel.
(epochal being: E-P-O-C-H)
ep•och: . . . an event or a time marked by an event that begins a new period or development - Merriam-Webster (emphasis mine)
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-Now, that may sound like an overstatement...
…when you first read our verses...
…but, I would just encourage you to wait until...
the end, until you make that judgment.
I believe that once we’ve examined...
This passage, and
Its related passages...
…That you’ll be convinced that Jesus...
…was, in fact, “Laying the Foundation”...
For something “new”...
…and glorious!
Let’s read our verses:
Luke 6:12–16 (ESV)
12 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:
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3 minutes
Verse 12:
Luke begins verse 12 with a helpful time marker.
Luke 6:12 (ESV)
12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray...
That’s an obvious reference to “the days” that we’ve been examining...
…over the last few weeks.
The Days” where Jesus was having conflict with the Scribes and Pharisees...
…over the Sabbath...
They were alsothe Days,” that had ended with His opponents being:
Luke 6:11 (ESV)
11...filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
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-Now, it may seem like Jesus went immediately up to the mountains...
…in order to escape their wrath...
But, that doesn’t appear to be the case at all.
Mark records the intervening time for us.
Mark 3:7–12 (ESV)
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea
8 and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him.
9 And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him,
10 for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him.
11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
And what Luke tells us (As the NASB records it), is that:
Luke 6:12 (NASB95)
12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray...
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-Don’t overlook the obvious, here.
At this moment, He was at the pinnacle of ministerial success.
But, He risks loosing all of that momentum...
…by leaving that throng of followers...
…in order to get alone with His Father...
…and PRAY!
Remember what we read before:
By uniting the accounts of all the Evangelists, with reference to our Lord’s practice of private prayer, we find that...
...He, who always lived in uninterrupted communion with the Father, specially and emphatically hallowed every turning-point of his earthly career . . . by solitary prayer. - Lange
-Brethren, that’s exactly what we see happening again.
There’s a turning-point before him in his earthly ministry...
And it is an important one!
So important, that:
As a real, flesh and blood man...
With real human emotions...
Luke 6:12 (ESV)
12 ...all night he continued in prayer to God.
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What was so important that it warranted this long travail?
Well, he had some choices to make the next day.
Choices whose consequences were more important to Him than:
Physical Rest!
Choices with eternal consequences!
Choices which absolutely HAD... reflect the will of His Father!
There was an election coming up...
…that would affect the future of (literally) countless people...
...And he was going to be the only one voting!
(8 minutes, 11 total)
Look at verse 13.
Luke 6:13 (ESV)
13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:
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There’s a lot more to this verse than my initially meet the eye.
Notice, first of all, that Jesus (after interceding all night)...
calls his followers to come and take their place before Him.
These folks are called “disciples.”
Because they are following Him.
Remember what that meant in 1st Century Palestine:
the Greek word for disciple, mathetes, means simply a learner or a student, one who attached himself to a rabbi to learn and serve. - Sproul
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So, that’s...
Pretty broad
Pretty basic
-So, Jesus calls a large number of disciples to attention before Him...
…and from that number...
selects and sets apart a handful of men...
…for something unique...
For Apostleship.
-Now, because the New Testament writers...
…often refer to the Apostles as “disciples”...
…it’s easy for us to (mistakenly) think that the two are interchangeable.
They are NOT!
Every Apostle is most certainly first a disciple (of Christ)...
But every “disciple” is most certainly NOT an apostle.
A Disciple is one who:
An Apostle is one who:
Goes out
Philip Ryken explains:
An apostle is someone who is commissioned to carry a message or to perform an official duty on someone else’s behalf.
The word comes from the Greek verb that means “to send” (apostellō). It is closely related to the Hebrew word shaliach, which at the time of Christ referred to an official representative in the Jewish community. By virtue of his commission, a shaliach had the authority to speak and to act for someone else.
A modern example would be the power of attorney that authorizes a personal representative to sign legal documents, or the authority an ambassador has to sign a treaty for his country.
Eventually the apostles would become Christ’s ambassadors, his personal representatives. - Ryken
Notice the language of personal appointment in verse 13:
Luke 6:13 (ESV)
13 ...he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles:
Mark shows the personal nature of their selection too:
Mark 3:13–14 (ESV)
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.
14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out...
-Now, before we look at what they were sent out to do...
I want you to notice (again) how these men came to be selected.
It wasn’t by their own will or desire
It wasn’t because they had thrown their name in the hat, or...
Because they had run a good campaign...
…It was because Christ...
(After communing with the Father all night)
wanted them!
Mark 3:13–14 (ESV)
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired...
Notice how this ties into his night of intercession...
…when we compare it to:
John 17:4 (ESV)
4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
Jesus is the chief and greatest Apostle
John 17:5–10 (ESV)
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me...
8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
-Back to Mark’s account:
Mark 3:13–14 (ESV)
13 And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him.
14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles)...
Ever ask yourselves why?
Why twelve?
Well, Luke gives us a clue about that... his second letter to Theophilus.
Acts 1:1–3 (ESV)
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,
2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
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Remember, that we saw last Sunday evening...
…how Jesus had confessed before Pilate, that...
…He HAD indeed come into the world...
…to establish a theocratic kingdom in his Father’s name!
But, he had said that His kingdom wouldn’t be:
Earthly, Temporal, and Physical
Heavenly, Spiritual, and Eternal.
A Kingdom over which God would rule in the hearts of men!
-But, there was an earthly prototype of this eternal kingdom:
The theocratic nation of Israel.
Ideally, Israel was supposed to have been...
...a nation that was ruled by God (a theocracy)...
…through the means of the Law that he had given them.
Israel was constituted within the framework of 12 Tribes.
Each (at least originally) Tribe was based upon their ancient Patriarch...
…which was one of the 12 sons of Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel).
These twelve Patriarchs were the authoritative foundation...
…upon which the nation was built.
-Now, of course we all know that the Nation...
failed to be the theocratic kingdom that it was called to be.
Because of their indwelling sin...
...they continually threw off God’s good rule...
…and set their hearts to serve other masters.
In judgment...
And in hope...
God promised to:
Cut a New Covenant,
Constitute a faithful people...
He would truly rule and reign in men’s hearts,
His theocratic Kingdom would be firmly and eternally established!
-This is that Kingdom that we have seen Jesus proclaiming...
…Since chapter 4.
What's happening in this morning’s verses...
…is Jesus beginning to:
Constitute a People
Create a Nation
Establish a Kingdom...
…through the appointment of a new set of patriarchs.
-You may say, that sounds like a bit of un-sanctified imagination to me!
Got any Scripture to support that?
Oh, yeah! A ton of it!
Luke 22:29–30 (ESV)
29 ...I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom,
30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Remember that in the period of the Patriarchs...
…The family patriarch was priest and king!
A parallel verse says:
Matthew 19:28 (ESV)
28 Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Paul expresses the same idea through an extended metaphor in:
Ephesians 2:19–22 (ESV)
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
Jesus gave Peter a similar metaphor...
…to describe the apostolic function:
Matthew 16:18–19 (ESV)
18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
John had a similar metaphor revealed to him in the Apocalypse.
You begin to see it in:
Revelation 21:1–3 (ESV)
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Revelation 21:9–14 (ESV)
9 Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.
12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed—
13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Now, this is clearly a metaphor.
The twelve apostles aren’t magically turned into huge boulders...
…and set in the dirt as footings, right?
So, how do the twelve serve as the foundation for this great...
theocratic kingdom...
…that Jesus was beginning to build?
(19 minutes, 30 total)
Well, if we read on in Mark’s account we’ll see it.
Mark 3:14–15 (ESV)
14 And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach
15 and have authority to cast out demons.
R.C. Sproul explains:
The church is established on the basis of the teaching of the apostles, not because they are special in and of themselves, but because it is through the apostles that we get the word of Christ...
...An apostle speaks not on the basis of his own authority, but on the basis of the one who commissions him. - R.C. Sproul
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This is why these men were unique.
This is why these men were given the ability to work miracles.
This is why no one can be an apostle today.
Because these men laid the deposit of God’s truth...
upon which God’s true theocratic kingdom...
…is/was/and will be established!
We call it the New Testament Canon.
It represents the fullest expression...
…of God’s self-revelation to men!
That’s why, when these men went about proclaiming it...
God bore witness to it from heaven through miracles.
Nowhere is that better stated than in Hebrews 2.
Hebrews 2:1–4 (ESV)
1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution,
3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,
4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
This is so misunderstood in our day.
These signs had a definite purpose:
To validate the message
To validate the messenger.
Remember, that this is how Paul defended his apostleship...
…because he was “born out of season?”
2 Corinthians 12:12 (ESV)
12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.
To say that men are apostles today...
…would be to say that:
The word of God is not complete...
The NT Canon is still open...
Additional Revelation of God is possible!
Why is that a problem?
Hebrews 1:1–3 (ESV)
1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son...
3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature...
What are you going to add to that?
How are you going to improve on Him?
-Let me show you one more thing...
…and we’ll be done.
It too invokes the symbolism that we’ve been looking at this morning.
It tells us how God will fill up:
That great City,
His great Kingdom...
And what we must do to be a part of it!
Revelation 7 (ESV)
1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree.
2 Then I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea,
3 saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.”
4 And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:
5 12,000 from the tribe of . . . were sealed...
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
13 ...Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?”
14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
269 I Lay My Sins on Jesus
301 There is a Fountain
302 Nothing But the Blood
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