The ministry of Jesus is a ministry of controversy. From the time Jesus began His public ministry in His hometown of Nazareth, He was enormously controversial. The people from His own community literally tried to kill Him immediately after His first public message in the local synagogue (Luke 4:24-30).
Although He was not honored in His own hometown, Jesus became popular in the larger Galilee region. When people heard the miracles He performed, massive crowds of people came out to see Him and hear Him speak.
At one point, Jesus had to get into a boat and pushed it far enough offshore to get away from the press of the people. From the boat, He taught them. The last Adam teaching the sons and daughters of the first Adam, the king becoming a servant, the creator rubbing elbows with his creation.
As His fame and popularity spread throughout the whole region, and the crowds that were following Him reached into the thousands, He preached a message so boldly confrontive and so offensive in its contents that the multitude melted away, leaving only the most devoted few (John 6:66-67).
Among those who stayed with Christ were the Twelve, whom He had personally selected and appointed to represent Him. Twelve perfectly ordinary men with extra-ordinary calling.
The Plan to evangelize the world
Christ’s strategy for advancing His kingdom hinged on those twelve unschooled and ordinary men rather than the swelling masses of followers. He chose to work through those few fallible individuals rather than advance the kingdom through mob force, military might, personal popularity, or a public-relations campaign.
From a human perspective, the future of the church and the long-term propagation of the gospel depended entirely on the faithfulness of that handful of disciples. There was no plan B should they failed. That by itself is controversial. But the Lord has His own reasons. A dozen men under the power of the Holy Spirit are a more potent force than a large crowd whose enthusiasm to follow Jesus was driven only by curiosity.
Twelve common men with uncommon calling.