Wear your own shoes
Mark 3: 16-18 “These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
Last night I attended the induction of Lloyd and Jo Cheshire as they began a new life in the Elim Church in Barking, London. It is a church that has a history of well-known preachers and pastors. It has been a daunting thought for Lloyd to think he has been passed the baton. But last night Dave Campbell who preached used a true illustration of a church secretary who told a newly appointed Elim Pastor that “they have big shoes to fill” meaning they were following prominent leaders. But the incoming Pastor said, “It is okay I have brought my own shoes.” It is a great illustration for all of us to hold on to who we are and to remember who we belong to.
Well now can you imagine following on from the 12 disciples that Jesus chose?
But of course we know the good and the bad of most of them. Let us take a very brief look …
Simon Peter known for one thing, the denial, but was used in many ways for example in receiving revelation from heaven: “Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who desired promotion to have the best seats in Heaven: Mark 10:37 “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
Andrew who struggled to see what Jesus was wanting him to see: John 6: 9 “There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?”
Phillip who struggled to do the math of faith: John 6:9 “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
Bartholomew also known as Nathanel was spotted by Jesus even before he knew about him: John 1:48 “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
Matthew also known as Levi was quick to leave everything and follow Jesus, Luke 5:27-28 “After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.”
Thomas had courage but lacked faith, John 11: 16, John 20: 25, “Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him… So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!… But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
James son of Alphaeus is also known as the less, the lesser or the younger, Mark 15: 40 “Now some women also were watching from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome.” But nothing more is said of him.
Thaddeus also known as Jude who wrote the epistle has nothing said of him in the gospels
Simon the zealot listed but no more information on him either.
Judas Iscariot known for one thing alone.
The more you know these first 12 disciples the more you realise how human, sinful and actually how small their shoes were! You see it is often our rose-tinted glasses that make people bigger than they actually are.
Jesus chose these men, imperfect, ambitious, faith-less people that they were. They all had good attributes but for some we will never know what they were as no-one decided to write anything about them!
Therefore, you can do it, you can wear your own shoes, you may have many reasons to disqualify yourself but these are no more or less than the 12 men above. If Jesus wanted them then he sure does want you. So get your shoes out and do some walking today.