Whatever Happened to ...

SIMON (not Peter) AND JUDAS (not Iscariot)
Adult Bible Class May 8, 2005 Pastor Michael Newman

HOW DO YOU CHANGE? Intro: How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb? The craving for change that I see in ministry. One of the greatest Mother’s Day gifts could very well be a change in your life. Kids, husbands, yourself! The questions is, "How do you change?" How do ingrained habits come to an end? How can you get rid of old reactions and defense mechanisms? How do you stop doing the things that are fouling up your life and how do you start doing the things that will really help you? How do you change?

Do You Want To? Maybe a better question to ask is: "Do you want to change?" Isn’t it true that the areas of life that need the most change are the ones that you really don’t want to change? There are certain sins you would never like to do. So you probably don’t. But there are others that you like. You may regret them. You may wish you didn’t do them, but at the time, you like them. You’re serving yourself, getting some kind of payoff, and doing something that your heart is craving. I met a homeless man in my previous home town who, as I drove him to a counseling center, said to me, "You know, it’s great to be homeless in this town!" This man had drug and alcohol issues, along with other challenges. But the bottom line was that he didn’t want to change. He said, "The police don’t bother you that much. You can sleep without being interrupted. It’s a great place to be homeless."

Simon and Judas – Zealots who needed to change If there’s anyone who needed to change among the disciples, it had to be the two men we’re looking at today: Simon (not Peter) and Judas (not Iscariot). Simon is called "Simon the Zealot" and Judas, son of James, is also called "Thaddaeus." Simon, Judas, James son of Alphaeus, and Judas Iscariot are always grouped together. Because of Simon’s designation, Judas’ association with the Zealot crowd, and some literature that connects Thaddaeus with this group, it is believed that these four men were Zealots. What is a Zealot? It was a Jewish party, a group that was one of the last to emerge. You’re familiar

C. If you have a Rabbinic teacher. emotional torment. Conflict may be a signal that change is needed in your life. They even killed their own families and themselves as Jerusalem fell in 70 A. finally being put to death. They were assassins. . A family member may have a serious talk with you. and terror experts who began to kill their own people who had any indication of sympathies toward Rome. Clearly Simon and Judas left their Zealot leader and started to follow Jesus. and at the time Quirinius was governor — as we hear in Luke 2. Pain may be a signal that change is needed in your life. Judas the Galilean revolted against the Roman rule during that time. It may be physical pain or illness." Today we would call them terrorists. Some one said to me that your best critics may just be your best critics. You may be experiencing tremendous discomfort in your life. He called them to be disciples. What if Osama Bin Laden became an evangelical pastor? That’s about what happened to Simon and Thaddaeus (Judas). for that was the name those reckless persons went by. murderers. A parent or spouse may say something. William Barclay summarized the Zealots by saying they were "fanatical Jewish patriots who were zealous for the Law and bitter haters of foreign power" (p. More than that. you just don’t hop around from one to another. joining in prayer.95). They developed the awareness that change was needed in their lives. There are Simon the Zealot and Judas son of James with the disciples. He appointed them to be apostles. "Zealots. shows that they were with Jesus — disciples then apostles. How did this radical change happen? And how can change happen in your life? Let’s take a look. Sometimes that is the Spirit leading you to change. They spotted the signals that change was needed. as if they were Zealous in good practices. Are you at odds with family members? Are you getting angry a lot? Do relationships crumble easily? Are people driven away from you? Valid criticism or advice may be pointing you in the direction of change. They got it! We know that’s true because they switched leaders. a leader. You may hear a sermon that you feel was meant just for you. Zealots were another subgroup of the Jewish people. or overall stress. there is Matthew — the tax collector and Roman sympathizer still at their side. family malfunction. sometimes you have to listen to what people say.with Pharisees and Saducees.D. Somehow Simon and Judas the Zealots spotted the signals. and were not rather extravagant and reckless in the worst actions. you have to spot the signals. SPOT THE SIGNALS First. Josephus said. In other words. You may sense leadership from God from a combination of indicators. His death gave birth to this group called the Zealots. The Zealots began as a result of two rebellions by Judas the Galilean in 4 B. More to the point. So Jesus reached out to them. Look at . Is there truth in it? Do you need to listen this time? The Holy Spirit may prompt you toward change.

NEW SUPPORT A new crowd helps change. You may need to get a new job. change needs support in an open and known context. Your life change may depend on getting a new crowd. you may have to focus on having new behavior. You do what you’re supposed to do even if you don’t feel like doing it. Change will fee that way at first. It’s very possible that. you may have to be alone for a while — a gap between friends or a relationship. you may need to take some very practical steps of change. "But that would make me a hypocrite. Once you spot the signals. but they would make a new person out of Judas. one who didn’t live for a cause. Check out . Why? Because a new beginning. changing jobs. But Jesus gave a new paradigm — one of mutual support. All of those times may be strategic times to change. Take a look at . I’m talking about isolation. when you transition to a new crowd. You may know from weddings. you may need to be with different people — people who aren’t so negative. people who do not put down their husbands or wives. people who don’t have destructive habits. people who help lead you to a God-pleasing life. This is the one place we hear from our otherwise silent Zealots — it’s Judas (Thaddaeus) speaking." No. You’ve just got to practice. You may just have to act differently. New behavior gets you on the road to change. Zealots were not accountability kinds of guys. It’s like learning a golf swing. You may also need new support. Judas asked a question that was rooted in his old self — the "conquer the Roman world" mindset. They were with fellow listeners of Jesus. You might say. In order to change. I’m not talking about healthy solitude. What is it saying about our basic need as human beings? Being alone can be dangerous. Real change means that you do what you WANT to do — even though you don’t feel like it. You’re not faking it. moving. A hypocrite does what he or she DOESN’T what to do.A NEW CROWD Let’s look at . times of illness. It’s two by two. starting a new activity. Love and obedience do not a Zealot make. Changing schools. you’re growing into it — just like Jesus was growing Judas into love and obedience. people who aren’t abusive. These Zealots were hanging with different people. The first one is that you may need a new crowd. Jesus answered the question directing Judas to love and obedience — new behavior. This happens at strategic times in your life — times that you may want to take as an opportunity. A golf swing feels like one of the most unnatural and awkward things to do. NEW BEHAVIOR If you want to change. but who lived with God inside him! Sometimes change happens when you just start acting differently. They were secret loners who schemed for their political motives. .

but even though the king of the land told the two disciples that they could kill the magicians. But the change was radical. Both were finally killed. then there is no breach between men which cannot be healed when men love Christ. but you get overwhelmed by all that has to be done? Notice what was happening in . Flowers for your wife once a week. Notice that Simon learned to work together with someone else. the disciples refused. Share what’s going on at dinner in the evenings. Maybe you have to have small goals — that will keep going for the long haul. NEW GOALS Maybe you need to change just a little at a time over a long period of time.There is a story about Simon the Zealot told in an ancient "Apostolic History. Your key to change may be to focus on some new goals." He and Jude (from the New Testament book) went to Persia to preach. You may need to find someone who can support you and help you stay true to your new and changed life. you’ll need to realize that you’re beginning a new history. radical changes. Take a look at . I know a man who experienced Christ’s change. How often do you want to change. He had support and accountability. worship. These days we talk about big goals and dreams. Then you’ve got to live with the change and let it become the new you. How did it happen? Marty shrugged his shoulders and gave credit to His loving Savior. vision. The magicians gathered a mob to kill the disciples. It took a while for Simon and Judas to change. the magicians turned the crowds against Simon and Jude." That is the key to change — loving Christ. Exercise only two times a week. The disciples were simply praying. Where does this happen most? As you bring your life to the Word. Having Him truly live in you. but instead of fleeing. communion. Be home on a consistent evening! Read the Bible one day in addition to Sundays. was also martyred as he did mission work around present day Iraq. Judas. "If Matthew and Simon could live at peace within the apostolic band. Go on one special weekend once a year. William Barclay said. legend has it. teacher and visionary church leader. Maybe your goals have to be smaller. Simon and Jude stayed together and witnessed to the crowd. But they kept up the small things all the way through the resurrection of Jesus. A NEW HISTORY Finally. . – Marty Absent Curmudgeon to husband and grandpa. Instead of reacting with gratitude. being loved by Him. Simon and Jude defeated these magicians in a contest. and prayer. They met two magicians who opposed them here. Let your change be the practical application of all you hear.

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