Written with great depth and eloquence, giving a plethora of information regarding the characters, mindsets and backgrounds of the disciples as well as highlighting Jesus' incredible ability to lead and handle them all. A must-read!
"Christ personally called the Twelve and invested most of His energies in them. He chose them before they chose Him."
This paperback is an indepth look at the disciples of Jesus Christ. I found it most entertaining and enlightening, soaking up the characteristics of these men of God. We see how the master shaped His disciples and built up their faith. They were the first persons on earth, who knew what His future held, though not throughly understanding at the time, they yet trusted in Him and His Father's will for the people of the world. He spoke to them in parables and had to be patient with them as they tried to figure Him out. The disciples were by no means scholars, just humble ordinary men, but when Jesus was resurrected and they saw the Light they became bold witnesses for His cause, turning the world upside down............taking the gospel to the ends of the earth for they knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that He held their backs, and had filled them with His Holy Spirit. Highly recommended to Study Groups and Theology courses. Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar 07-11-11 (Haze)
I think this book should be read by all 'lapsed' Christians, as a reminder of 'what it was all REALLY about! So many - dare I say, even regular Church-goers - forget what the PRACTICE of their Faith is, or should be. A simple 'refresher' which can harm no-one's faith, or life!
A revealing insight into the ordinary lives and characters of the Apostles. The discussion is securely anchored in scripture and focuses the reader on how each individual had a place in the Twelve and yet they are so much like us, called saved, taught and sent out using their own particular characters and skills and used by God to the greatest effect. Twelve men conquer the world for God. God takes the small gifts and multiplies them exponentially. So he can take you or I and use our weakness to such great ends, step up and be an apostle for this time.
This book is extremely enjoyable and well written. The writer pulls together all the Biblical accounts as well as refering to extra Biblical material concerning the end of the disciples lives. In each of the chapters, the reader can identify with traits from each disciple. It is a thought provoking book; challenging any elivation of the disciples beyond what they were, ordinary men.
I found this book a real joy to read as it takes a chapter apiece to describe these twelve ordinary men and how God in Christ chose them to be His apostles. There's an old saying that says,"The best of men are just men at the best", and only the all-knowing God-man would have chosen such fickle, frail and flawed men like these to achieve His eternal purposes in them. That is encouraging to all of us men who are, or at least should be, aware of our limitations and weaknesses which are inherent in our human nature. What is particularly interesting is how the book shows that gradual transformation in the development of their character and godliness from what they were like when Christ first called them. They were mostly fishermen bereft of high levels of academic achievement with perhaps Matthew as the most "intelligent". I particularly enjoyed the chapter on John who historians suggest was the only apostle who wasn't martyred for his faith. John is known as the apostle of love and also uses that word more times in his writings than any other author in the Bible. However, he wasn't always a lovable character as he and his older brother James were called, "the sons of thunder", and Jesus had His work cut out for Him when he called these two guys! The author describes Peter as the apostle with the foot-shaped mouth which is fairly apt but isn't it interesting that his name always comes first in the gospels EVERY time Peter, James and John are mentioned. How gracious is the Holy Spirit. This book is so encouraging and shows how Christ deals with us (not just His apostles) so graciously in how He works with us. Even with Judas Iscariot the Lord Jesus was so gentle with him even in the Garden of Gethsemane when that moment of betrayal was enacted with a kiss. I think you will see your own personality in some of the apostles and how God in Christ used even those of them who we know very little of in Scripture but they made a unique contribution in bringing others to Jesus. That's what ultimately our job is.
This book is a comfortable read in that it speaks plainly and in words easy to understand how the men Jesus chose to go with him were so very ordinary. John McCarthy charts their foibles, failings and then their great works for the Lord in later life. These details of the twelve prove to us that we too can be used, can be useful in working for the Lord, that we are no different and therefore gives us hope, encouragement and a push to respond to the call. I think McCarthy did a great job with this book. All should read it.
My church is doing a series of sermons based on this book, so I bought it out of interest but have not yet had time to read it. From what I can tell, the sermons have been thoroughly grounded and this book offers some interesting insight, even into the lesser known disciples. Well worth a read, which I will of course do soon!