Jesus Chose Twelve Apostles


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. CHRIST CALLS TWELVE MEN TO FOLLOW HIM, WHO LATER ARE KNOWN AS APOSTLES.
      1. These were the first ones set in the church. 1 Corinthians 12:28 = "And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
      2. These were given the keys of the kingdom. Matthew 16:19 = "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 18:18 = "Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
      3. It was in their teaching that the early church continued steadfastly. Acts 2:42 = "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
      4. These apostles along with the prophets are the foundation of the house of God. Ephesians 2:20-21 = "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
      5. There names are written on the foundation of the holy city in Jerusalem. Revelation 21:10-14 = "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
    2. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE APOSTLES IS UNDENIABLE, FILLING A PROMINENT PLACE IN THE REDEMPTIVE WORK OF CHRIST AND THE NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THEM.
      1. Their call.
      2. Their number.
      3. Their character and personal factors.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. THEIR CALL:
    2. Mark 3:14 = "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,"

      1. That they might be with Jesus:
        1. Jesus need them = The same as any ordinary man would.
          1. Jesus needed them for fellowship, companionship and mutual helpfulness.
          2. Note: Though Christ was divine, He was also a human being and felt the need of human companionship.

          3. Illustration:
            1. In the most critical hour of His life -- when He had entered the garden of Gethsemane with the agony and burden placed upon Him by the world’s sinfulness, He prayed. Then returning to where He had left Peter, James and John, He found them sleeping. He wanted their presence. He was seeking their sympathy – the touch of a friendly hand, the voice of men who cared. Christ said to Peter, Matthew 26:40 = "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?"
            2. While Christ was in the upper room, He said to the apostles, Luke 22:28 = "Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations."
        2. Jesus needed them in a special way:
          1. He called them to be ambassadors for Christ.
          2. 2 Corinthians 5:20 = "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

            1. They first became disciples or followers of Christ -- you might say students.
            2. They had to receive His teaching, and submit to His discipline, as Christ submitted to His Father in Heaven.

            Luke 22:42 = "Saying. Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done."

            Mark 10:28 = "Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee."

          3. He called them to carry out His work:
          4. Note: They were Christ’s apprentices, called to be with the Master in order that, by living with Him, they might learn to be fitted to carry out His work.

            1. Moses had Joshua to follow him.
            2. Eli had Samuel to follow him.
            3. Paul had Timothy to follow him.
      2. That He might send them forth to preach: = There were two commissions give by Christ.
        1. The first commission:
          1. Jesus had been working mostly alone up to this time.
            1. His preaching was effective, but He had been confined to a small area mostly in the province of Galilee.
            2. Christ sees about Him those hungering for the bread of life and says to His disciples, Matthew 9:37 = "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;"
          2. Jesus called and trained these men and sent them forth on a commission that was limited.

          Matthew 10:5-7 = "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

        2. The second commission:
          1. Christ knew He would be despised and rejected by men and took measures to extend His work and to perpetuate it.
          2. Note: Some men would have done this by writing. However, with but one exception, Jesus never wrote a single word. That exception is concerning the woman taken in adultery in,
            John 8:6  = "…But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not."   John 8:8 = "And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground."

          3. Christ selected, trained and empowered the twelve.
          4. Note: However, at this time there are only eleven of them left [Acts 1:13]. Jesus said in,
            John 17:12 = "While I was them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scriptures might be fulfilled."

            1. That they might be with Him. "Those that thou gavest me" [John 17:12].
            2. That they might behold His mighty miracles. Hebrews 2:3-4 = "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the holy Ghost, according to his own will?"
            3. That they might hear His words of wisdom, follow and keep them. John 14:25-26 = "These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holly Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." [John 17:8].
            4. That they might follow the example of His life [I Peter 2:21] and see His glory.
               John 17:24 = "Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."
            5. These God sent out unto all the nations of the world. Matthew 28:18-20 = "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
              1. They endued with power became His witnesses, Acts 1:8 = "‘But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
              2. They have left us examples in the lives they lived.
              3. They have written His Will for us to follow and the Gospels and Acts contain their words and deeds.
              4. They have shaped the destinies and lives of men of all nations.
                Matthew 16:19
                = "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be lossed in heaven."
                [Matthew 18:18].
    3. THEIR NUMBER: Mark 3:14 = "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,"
      1. This selection was not by chance or accident, but by deliberation and set purpose of the will of God were they given to Him. "…Those thou gavest me I have kept …" = John 17:12.
      2. To a student of the Bible the number twelve [12] is significant and says much:
        1. It is a number significant to God’s people in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
          1. God appointed the twelve apostles in clear allusion to the tribes of the Old Testament, where we are told these twelve sit twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
            Luke 22:28-30
            = "ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
          2. The choice of twelve did two things:
            1. He made an astonishing claim for Himself as the long-expected Messiah. The prophecies about him in Psalms 72; Isaiah chapters 11, 60 & 65, had been fulfilled in Christ.
            2. The apostles were provided by Christ’s teaching and life to carry out faithfully His Will through the trouble some times that was before them.
      3. They were a parallel twelve to the sons of Jacob Revelation 21:10-14 = "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."
      4. The twenty-four elders on the twenty-four thrones before God, Revelation 4:4 = "And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold." ….. Seem to be symbolic of both the twelve patriarchs and the twelve apostles. Matthew 19:28 = "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
    4. THEIR CHARACTER:
      1. Paul wrote in, I Corinthians 1:26-29 = "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."
      2. We look at the list of the apostles in, Mark 3:16-19 = "And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house."
        1. We do not find:
          1. A single nobleman.
          2. A single rabbi.
          3. A single honorable counselor.
          4. A single man of wealth.
          5. A single man of power.
        2. We do find:
          1. A list of peasants.
          2. A list of humble men:
            1. A fisherman.
            2. A tax collector.
            3. An ex-rebel.
            4. Pure men.
            5. Unsophisticated men.
            6. Men with open minds and receptive hearts.
            7. Men unfettered and unbound by dogmas and religious traditions.
        3. We are brought to the conclusion what God had in His mind when he appointed these twelve men:
          I Corinthians 1:20
          = "Where is the wise? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world.I Corinthians  3:19-20 = "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, he taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain."
          1. It was the foolish things of the world.
          2. The weak things of the world.
          3. The things that are despised by the wisdom of the world.
          4. The things that are not.
        4. Better men than these could not have been found.
          1. God selected men in a lower station of life where there are no hindrances to their service.
          2. God has revealed to babes what he hid from the wise and prudent. Matthew 11:25 = "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

        Comment: About these twelve that Christ selected, some wrote: "To speak to the great heart of humanity, to its great primitive wants and sorrows, these plain, unsophisticated peasants of Galilee were far better than the most learned of the Jerusalem rabbis."

      3. These men Christ prepared for a great work:
        1. He taught them.
        2. He trained them.
        3. He ennobled them.
        4. He empowered them.
        5. He molded them by His Will.
        6. He sent them forth into the world of humanity in His name:
          1. To subdue kingdoms.
          2. To do righteousness.
          3. To stop the mouths of lions.
          4. To quench the power of fire.
          5. To escape the edge of the sword.
          6. To wax mighty in battle.
          7. To fight armies of aliens.
          8. To turn the world upside down.
    5. THEIR PERSONAL TRAITS:
    6. [Matthew 10:1-6; Mark 6:7-10; Luke 6:12-19; Luke 9:1-6; Acts 1:12-14].

      1. Disciple and Apostle:
        1. The word disciple means: "A pupil, one who believes and practices the teachings of another".
        2. The word apostle means: "One who is sent, an envoy, an ambassador".
          1. The disciple is still in school.
          2. The apostle has left school to become a teacher.
          3. The apostles came from the disciples of Christ. Mark 3:14 = "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach."
      2. Let us now look at each of the twelve apostles:
        1. Simon Peter: [Cephas or a stone]
          1. A fisherman of Bethsaida.
          2. He lived in Capernaum, the largest city by the Sea of Galilee.
          3. He was a man probably well along in years when Christ met him.
          4. He was the first brought to Christ by his brother Andrew.
          5. He was impulsive by nature and made many rash statements.
          6. He denied Christ in a time of weakness, and wept because of it.
          7. His Father’s name was Jonah.
          8. H worked as an evangelist among the Jews.
          9. Tradition tells us he was crucified upside down.
        2. Andrew:
          1. He was a brother to Peter and son of Jonah.
          2. He was a fisherman by trade.
          3. He was steady, quiet, and probably a thoughtful man.
          4. He has been referred to be some as the "hidden helper" in the group of apostles.
          5. He was the first disciple of Christ.
          6. He brought Peter to Christ.
          7. He found the lad with the two loaves and five fishes from which the 5,000 were fed by Christ.
          8. Tradition says he preached in Scythia, Greece and Asia Minor, and was possibly crucified.
        3. James: [The Greater}
          1. The son of Zebedee and Salome, who was a sister of Mary. This would make him a cousin of Jesus according to the flesh.
          2. He was a fisherman, an associate of Peter and Andrew.
          3. Jesus on one occasion, called him – Boangerges – "Son of Thunder".
          4. He was a reserved man, his indignation was easily stirred, as it was against a village of the Samaritans in Luke 9:54.
          5. He was the first apostolic martyr [Acts 12:1-2].
          6. He was killed by King Herod in A.D. 44.
          7. He preached in Jerusalem and in the province of Judea.
          8. His home was at first in Bethsaida and then later in Jerusalem.
        4. John:
          1. He was the brother of James and a son of Zebedee and Salome, and as was James would be a cousin to Jesus.
          2. He was a fisherman, in association with Peter, James and Andrew.
          3. He was probably the youngest of the apostles and became known "as the disciple whom Jesus loved".
          4. He became the great apostle of love.
          5. He seldom spoke in the gospel accounts.
          6. He wrote five New Testament books: Gospel of John; First, Second and Third John; and Revelation.
          7. He along with James was called - Boanerges – "Son of Thunder".
          8. He preached in Asia Minor at Ephesus.
          9. Tradition says, he lived to be nearly 100 and was the only apostle to die a natural death.
          10. He was banished to the Isle of Patmos, A.D. 95.
        5. Philip: [Lover of horses]
          1. He was a native of Bethsaida.
          2. His trade is unknown.
          3. He is always mentioned as the fifth in each list of the apostles.
            [Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; John 1:45-49; Acts 1:13].
          4. He was the one who endeavored to calculate how much bread would be needed to feed the 5,000 [John 6:9].
          5. He was the one that troubled Christ at the last supper by his weakness of faith in Christ
            [John 14:8-12].
          6. Tradition says he preached in Phrygia and died a martyr at Hierapolis in Phrygia. Note: Do not confuse this Philip with Philip the evangelist. [Acts 21:8].
        6. Bartholomew: [The same as NathanaelJohn 1:45-49]
          1. He was quick to recognized Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. [John 1:43-51]; and to say in John 1:49, "…Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel".
          2. His home was in Cana of Galilee.
          3. Philip told him of Christ, and Nathanael was the one that said, "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" [John 1:46]
          4. Christ spoke of him in John 1:47, "…Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile".
          5. We know nothing more about him, but he readiness to know of Christ and to declare him as the "Son of God", leads us to believe he served well as one of the apostles.
        7. Thomas: [He was surnamed Didymus]
          1. His home was in Galilee
          2. He became known as "doubting Thomas", concerning his doubt that Christ had arisen from the grave. [John 20:24-25].
          3. Some those speaking about his disposition one that needed proof of conviction.
          4. Hastings, commenting on, John 20:24-49, has this say about him: "His temperament is that of a man who finds the best things too good to be true, and who usually imagines that the worst foreseen possibility will be realized. He requires direct personal evidence, and will not easily accept the testimony even of his friends. Yet he will die with Christ rather than desert His cause."
          5. It is claimed he founded the church in Syria, and possibly Persia and India.
          6. Tradition says he died a martyr for Christ.
        8. Matthew: [His surname was Levi]
          1. He was the son of Alphaeus, brother of James (the less).
          2. He lived in Capernaum.
          3. He was the publican, or tax collector of Capernaum, and perhaps an extortionist before he met Christ.
          4. The Lord called him from his place of toll.
          5. He followed Christ without a moment of hesitation.
          6. He provided Christ and the others with a great feast.
          7. He wrote the Gospel of Matthew.
          8. Tradition says he died a martyr in Ethiopia.
        9. James: [The less]
          1. Son of Alphaeus, brother of Matthew.
          2. His home was in Galilee.
          3. Tradition says he preached in Palestine and Egypt, and died in Egypt.
          4. Nothing more is known about him.
        10. Thaddaeus: [also known as Judas or Lebbaeus]
          1. He is carefully distinguished from Judas Iscariot [John 14:22].
          2. He was a son or perhaps a brother of James [Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13].
          3. He lived in Galilee.
          4. Nothing more is known about him.
        11. Simon: [The Canaanite; or Simon Zelotes in Luke 6:15]
          1. The word Canaanite [Hebrew]; and the word Zelotes [Greek] refers to a party, or sect in Galilee, which stood for the recovery of Jewish freedom and the maintenance of Jewish institutions.
          2. He lived in Galilee.
          3. He was a man of great zeal and enthusiasm.
          4. Nothing more about him is known.
        12. Judas Iscariot:
          1. A man of Kerioth, a village in the province of Judah.
          2. The only one of the twelve that was not a Galilean.
          3. He was the treasurer of the group, and possibly kept back some for himself.
          4. He betrayed Christ.
          5. He took his own life.

  3. CONCLUSION:

    1. WE HAVE STUDIED:
      1. Their calling. .
      2. Their number.
      3. Their character.
      4. Their lives, as much as is known.
    2. THE STUDY IS TO ENABLE US TO HAVE AS MUCH INFORMATION ABOUT THESE MEN AND THEIR WORK AS POSSIBLE.

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