Simon the Zealot: We can’t all be popular 

Today’s bible study is a really interesting one, in the sense that these people’s deeds were not obvious or rather their deeds and accomplishments were so obscure that there wasn’t much reference about them at all. I was confused at first when I first read about them. I tried all I could to find something about them but nothing significant.

Have you been part of a group that was inaugurated to carry out a very definite and important task.

Every member of the group contributed tirelessly to the success of the project, and then at the end of the completed task, your efforts wasn’t recognized when roll call was taken or at worst your name wasn’t even submitted or included in the final group membership list?

How did you feel? What plethora of emotions ran through your being?

Did you get angry? Accused the company or the leader of the team of being selfish and inconsiderate?

Retired yourself voluntarily from the company?

Fought for your right?

Or simply keep silent while others enjoy the shows of applause, handshakes, recognition, award and reward.

Now imagine you were that one person?

What will you do? Just take a moment to think about it? What will be your reaction if you were that one person?

Let’s move ahead to our Bible character study for today

We all want to do big things for God and be recognized. Who wouldn’t?

We want our light to shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our father who is in heaven, isn’t it so?

Imagine someone who wrote a bestselling Christian Inspirational or Motivational book, the fame and the recognition that such person attracts. Who wouldn’t want that, you can pretend you don’t really care but the truth is – recognition and fame is part of the core of our makeup as human, we shouldn’t spiritualize everything.

We all want to do big things for God, we want our names to be reckoned with a great work we did to resonate in Heaven. It is not a bad desire to want to do and accomplish great things for God, after all we are surrounded by men and women in the body of Christ accomplishing amazing things for God and we rejoice with them.

What then happens when you seem not to be noticed in your niche of work, especially those that look so insignificant that you felt you aren’t pleasing God or that God is really mad at you by reason of your little contributions.

Let’s examine one of the three people who I’m definitely sure they would have accomplished great things for God but we knew little of them and what they did.

Simon the Zealot

These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (NIV)  -Matthew 10:2-4 

Simon (not Simon Peter – one of those interesting characters) was hand-picked by Jesus Christ himself to be a disciple. He was present with the 11 apostles in the upper room of Jerusalem after Christ ascended to heaven. He may even have been the first disciple to see the risen Savior.

The Scriptures tells us almost nothing about Simon. In the Gospels, he is mentioned in three places (every scripture that the disciple of Jesus is mentioned, his name was among) but only to list his name with the 12 disciples.

In Acts 1:13 we learn that he was present with the 11 apostles in the upper room of Jerusalem after Christ had ascended to heaven.

Although his accomplishments remain unknown to us today, Simon may simply have been overshadowed by the more prominent apostles. Even still, being named among the twelve was no small achievement as I feel that Jesus wouldn’t have called him to be among his disciple if he wasn’t going to be useful.

It baffles me when I read through the gospels (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John) and even through the epistles of the Apostle and yet none was credited to being written by him. Does it mean he wasn’t as effective as other disciple? I don’t think so

In fact, when Jesus sent his disciples in twos on an evangelistic mission, Simon was among.  I felt God is trying to teach us that all his sons and daughters are not going to be popular and well known. 

There in the Scriptures, we read about amazing deeds carried out by awesome people (you find a list of them in the book of Hebrews chapter 11). God by his Spirit wrote their biography for us to learn from them but then are some just like Simon the Zealot, James the less, Mathias(who replace Judas Iscariot) and others whom I believe God wrote their biography too but perhaps find them too precious to share with us.

Therefore, we shouldn’t seek to do popular deeds for God, rather we should seek to do the will of God whether it will make us popular or not.


Your usefulness is more important to God than your popularity

Because you aren’t appreciated doesn’t mean you should stop doing what God has called you to do

No matter how you might felt, God sees your labor of love towards him no matter how insignificant it might seem to you or people around you


Hi guys! This post was written by Immanuel of He kindly granted my request in the First post in this series that he write about someone in the Bible and share his insight with us. 

Thanks Immanuel. Go on guys and check out his awesome blog and get ready to share your insight with us.

Bible Characters, Bible Study
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  • Reply
    January 19, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    I feel this post is a poignant one because it reminds us that even if human beings forget to or deliberately don’t acknowledge, recognize or reward us, God surely will. He is a faithful God. And we should look to him for acknowledgement.

    We all can’t be popular, but what is important is that we seek after God’s will as Immanuel wrote above. Even when people take credit for our work or labour it’s okay to let go. It might hurt, and even make us angry but we can look at the life of Simon the Zealot above, he was one of the 12, but hardly mentioned. Yet what I read about him shows that he preached the gospel as far as Africa, and died a brutal death like all the apostles except John the Beloved.
    Thank you so much for this Immanuel. This has really helped.

  • Reply
    January 19, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Thank God! and thank you so much for providing your awesome media platform by God’s grace to share of the knowledge of God.
    I was actually taken aback when I found out that there wasn’t serious activities surrounding these apostles in the bible. That’s why studying the bible opens our eyes as enlighten by the HS (HolySpirit) for gems in the word.

    We ought to read the word but studying unravel the depth

  • Reply
    The Importance of Mission over Importance – The Lodge
    January 20, 2017 at 8:02 am

    […] Continue reading………………………………… […]

  • Reply
    January 20, 2017 at 9:00 am

    My philosophy about life is when the spotlight is on you, enjoy it and when it isn’t,enjoy being behind the camera.
    Doing God’s work isn’t eye service and we should serve him wholeheartedly not because of popularity or any thing else.
    I like the post.
    Nice one!

    • Reply
      January 20, 2017 at 11:13 am

      I agree. The spotlight can be on us and also be on some else. There’s a lot of eye service even in the Church even to the extent of fighting for microphone ? during group ministrations just to be noticed.It’s disturbing.
      Thank you dear .

  • Reply
    January 21, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Love the point about how our usefulness is more important than our popularity. Really nice post.

    • Reply
      January 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Love it too.

  • Reply
    January 21, 2017 at 4:54 am

    Haha, isn’t God good? This touched me on different levels. Last year, despite doing significant work at my job, only one person out of two of us in that department was honored at the end of the year, along with a pleasing financial reward. I don’t know how I managed to keep smiling throughout the event, actually it was God that sustained me. I thought of quitting, called Momsi and poured out my heart, and then realized maybe that was a way of God showing me that I wasn’t meant to remain at this place for too long. And now this article came along to give me another perspective on the issue. Popularity and earthly praise are human desires, but at the end of the day, it is God’s recognition that matters the most. They may not recognize me at work, but as long as God sees my effort and intentions, that is all I need to be content. Great job Immanuel!

    • Reply
      January 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      I know how hard it can be when stuff like that happens. Sorry about that.
      I would have thought the second person would have demurred at taking the praise alone when two people did the work.
      Thank God for mums eh. My mum helps me to get some perspective too when “work people” want to drive me crazy.
      I think that stuff like that nudges us to make the right decision. Imagine if the place isn’t right for you, but you love it, it gets hard to leave because you don’t have a reason to. The job I left, it wasn’t one big thing, it was a combination of several things, till I felt very strongly that I had to leave, and I did.
      Yeah! We should all try to aim for heavenly recognition instead of earthly one because.
      It is well. Okay.
      I agree. Great job. Immanuel.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Your usefulness is more important than your popularity. Amen!
    I have been learning these days that I need to do what I need to do whether people appreciate it or not.
    Thanks Immanuel!

    • Reply
      January 26, 2017 at 12:49 pm

      Amen and Amen. True! It’s a nice feeling to be appreciated . However we won’t always be appreciated for our work and we have to learn that true reward and acknowledgement comes from God

  • Reply
    January 28, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Thanks Immanuel for an excellent analysis. I totally agree that not everyone is meant to be popular. I really like the part where you said perhaps God finds their biography too precious to share with us. Dr D.K Olukoya once said it’s better to be the leg of an elephant than to be the head of a cockroach. Oftentimes, the success of the recognized is solely dependent on the dedication and hard work of the unrecognized. So many organizations won’t be standing today if not for the unrecognized. When Peter was thrown into the prison, prayer was made w/out ceasing for him. He didn’t think he was going to be released which explains why he first thought he saw a vision (Acts 12) but God honoured the prayer of the church and delivered Peter. Whenever we feel our good efforts are not appreciated, we ought to take comfort in the knowledge that the God that sees our secret acts will reward us openly and His reward is far greater than we can imagine.

    • Reply
      January 31, 2017 at 5:01 pm

      I agree too Anu. Great analysis.
      I like that part. It’s amazing to think that God has the biography of everyone he has ever created. And he has his reasons for sharing that of those in the Bible.
      I like what Dr. Olukoya says. A lot if want to be the head of something, Anything no matter how insignificant when we can be a part of a significant thing.
      We really ought to take comfort that God sees everything and he will recompense us.
      Thanks Babe. You sef be analyser . Lol. Be sure to check out Immanuel’s blog. Just be getting ready your Bible Character post.

  • Reply
    January 31, 2017 at 7:10 am

    I think this post is specifically for me. I often struggle (internally) for recognition.
    Or desire people give me credit. Thanks Bisola for sharing. I just stumbled upon your blog from NSG.

    • Reply
      January 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      It’s not only you dear. It happens to the best of us too. It’s perfectly logical to expect some sort of accolades for work well done.
      As humans though, we have to learn that we won’t always be appreciated and not to feel bad when the credit goes to others.
      You are welcome IJ. Thanks for your comment.

  • Reply
    February 7, 2017 at 9:06 am

    In the Bible there are all kinds of people; people who did controversial things, whose good deeds were only mentioned in passing, who had only their names mentioned and nothing more. I believe that the Holy Spirit knows why. Me, I keep praying that I’ll fulfil God’s plan for my life and make heaven; whether I’m noticed or not. So help me God

    • Reply
      February 7, 2017 at 11:40 pm

      Yes oh. The Bible has all sorts of characters covered. The good,the bad, ugly and handsome, flawed and evil everything e dey there.
      Yes oh. The Holy Spirit knows best as to why some good deeds and names are more prominent than others.
      That’s the koko. Amen.
      After all some featured or were mentioned for the wrong reasons and didn’t make heaven.

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