Twelve Ordinary Men

Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur

How the Master shaped His disciples for greatness, and what He wants to do with you.

In Twelve Ordinary Men, author John MacArthur details how the twelve disciples were ordinary men like you and I and how God used them to build his church.

The author draws on the gospels, the book of Acts and writings from other first century authors to explore the personalities of these twelve disciples. Like us, each of the twelve had strengths and weaknesses that God used for His good. God can use each of us from the hot headed to the meek.

The other thing I like about Twelve Ordinary Men was the way that the author brought out the details of each disciples personality. This kind of information always interests me. Although accepting that Jesus was sent by God and was God himself is a matter of faith, I always like reading more in depth historical details of the first century when Jesus walked the earth. I think it brings the events and people into more vivid detail, often explaining some of the things that are hard for us to grasp.

One of my favorite quotes is the following: “The Twelve were like the rest of us; they were selected from the unworthy and the unqualified. They were, like Elijah, men “with a nature like ours” (James 5:17). They did not rise to the highest usefulness because they were somehow different from us. Their transformation into vessels of honor was solely the work of the Potter.

Many Christians become discouraged and disheartened when their spiritual life and witness suffer because of sin or failure. We tend to think we’re worthless nobodies and left to ourselves, that would be true! But worthless nobodies are just the kind of people God uses, because that is all He has to work with.”

Twelve Ordinary Men is a very good book and I recommend it for your library. It is a wonderful look into the lives of the disciples as well as an admonition to us that we too can be used by God for His purpose.

The chapters in the book include the following:

Common Men, Uncommon Calling
Peter - The Apostle with the Foot-Shaped Mouth
Andrew – The Apostle with the Foot-Shaped Mouth
James – The Apostle of Passion
John – The Apostle of Love
Philip – The Bean Counter
Nathanael – The Guileless One
Matthew – The Tax Collector; and Thomas – The Twin
James – The Less; Simon – The Zealot; and Judas (Not Iscariot) – The Apostle with Three Names
Judas – The Traitor



Twelve ordinary men




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