Found four times in the Bible - Matthew 10;2-4; "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; 3Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him." The list is also found in Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:12-19 and Acts 1:12 - where the Tall Twelve are mentioned as a group.
We often speculate as to why these were the ones chosen, and, of these, why certain ones would be in what we could term "the inner circle". Besides these twelve, there were others - for example, the seventy that Jesus sent on a special errand.
Why twelve? Does it figure in the symbolism of the Scripture? Since there were twelve tribes, we could have twelve apostles. As the twelve tribes laid the foundation of the Hebrew nation, so twelve disciples laid the foundation for the forthcoming Christian nation.
What kind of men were these? Four were fishermen; one, a publican; one was a Zealot, and the rest we are just not sure. We do know, however that they all came from Galilee. One interesting as observation: Simon is always listed first in the listing of disciples, and Judas is always listed last. (that is Judas, Iscariot). Another interesting ? fact. The first six names in the listing of disciples by Matthew, Mark and Luke are the six earliest known converts. It is further interesting to note that there are brothers involved in this set of twelve. There are three sets of brothers (wow) with a possibility that there could have been one set of three brothers. Among the twelve were five cousins of Jesus..making some of the disciples relatives to Jesus.
Some feel that these disciples were grouped and had obligations in various capacities because of the natural order of listing. This could well be. Another observation someone has made is that Jesus sent these forth two by two which could mean that they worked in pairs, and this would be in keeping with the fact that some were brothers. But serving two by two, Jesus would be providing for the possibility of eliminating loneliness. These could also relieve each other in speaking. Iím sure they performed miracles that took strength from them. By having two people working together the job was done in a more efficient and less laborious manner. By having the disciples paired certainly much more could be accomplished than if they were sent forth as a mass of twelve persons.
The word "apostle" means "one that is sent" and these men were sent forth. They were ambassadors of the Christ. The word "disciple" has the same conation thus both terms are adequate for these Tall Twelve. They were disciples. They were apostles.
After the death of Jesus, we read in the Acts that a new man was chosen to take the place of Judas, Iscariot. His name was MATTHIAS. (Acts 1:25) Paul was called to be an apostle of the Gentiles, which we read about in Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 15:8,9, Galatians 1:1. So the total number actually would be fourteen. Fourteen apostles. The original twelve, adding Matthias and Paul to the list.
In regard to the Tall Twelve. Jesus chose these men early in His ministry and I think rightly so. There needed to be a time of instruction, a time of demonstration and a time to pray with them. These men had to be come acquainted with Jesus and these were real moments to treasure. One thing that emerges from the study of these men: They were chosen by Jesus for His purpose. Iím sure that He deliberated a long time, certainly He prayed at great length for the right decision. He was looking for persons who would follow Him.. It is significant that Luke says they were chosen before the delivery of the Sermon on the Mount and that He did spend the previous night in prayer.
Discrepancy in names? As mentioned earlier, the listing of these twelve apostles is given in three places in the Bible. Regarding the discrepancy in names, we will point out in detail later, but it is easily solved by the statement that some people (perhaps even you reading these lines) go by two names.
There are many difficulties in tracing these disciples with their relationship to one another and to their families. Because of these difficulties, one cannot be dogmatic.
They were just men chosen by Jesus to be His helpers - His right hand men - guys who were human... Men with whom he would entrust his work after His death and resurrection. It has to be said again, "They were just ordinary men" (like you and me). They were not rich. They had no great education background and save for one, really had no social position (That one being Matthew. That was not really a "social standing position", but at least a "position" in society.) Again, they were ordinary men...but through whom God would do extraordinary work. Jesus chose these men because they were capable and He knew that by dedication and proper preparation great things would come from them ...and they, like others, would turn the world "upside down.".
Mark 3:16 indicates that they should be "with Jesus". This is why they were called. They were called to be sent out as heralds of the Christ. Because there was no news medium, like the newspapers, or community bulletin boards, or radio, TV or e-mails, these men had to "herald" the news that a Messiah had come. This was the purpose of the seventy later sent - to make known what was happening and what was going to happen.
Ever a fuss or disagreement between them? Because they represented a cross-section of society, they would not necessarily be compatible By this I mean, in the case of Mathew who was a tax collector, the local government would certainly be in opposition to Simon who was a Zealot. The Zealot party was certainly in opposition to the Roman rule. Simon would be one who would have earlier stabbed a knife in the back of Matthew if he had a chance,, but now, they were disciples "together". The truth here is that when one loves the Christ, one can love one another.
The training of the twelve was not easy. It took a long time. Jesus often spoke in parables. He told them things that they did not understand. For example, He said that He was going to be crucified. This shocked some because they were still thinking of "their" political kingdom. I think that even at the Last Supper some of their minds were still on a political rule. Jesus took a year and a half to make His choice. They were with him for just two years. Some put the date around A.D. 26 initially and they later recalled these men from their business employment toll which they had returned. May A.D. 29 they were given power to heal...and sent out for perhaps 30 day assignments from time to time.
How old were the disciples? No on can be dogmatic, but I like to believe they were in their late teens or early 20ís. How so. Well, I am told that when one got to be age 20 he was "the spokesman" for a group. Is this why Simon Peter was the leader?
Were they married? Yes, I believe they were later married (if not some at the time of their calling). We do know that Peter WAS married at the time of calling others becoming husbands later. We can only speculate as to fathers in the days ahead. My reason for writing that they were married comes from 1 Cor. 9:5, "If I had a wife and if she were a believer, wouldnít I bring her along on these trips just as the other disciples do and as the Lordís brothers do and as Peter does." So Biblical proof that Peter was married as well as the other disciples. So, if Peter was married, is not right for ministers/pastors to be married today whatever some may says to the contrary. Perhaps it is better to follow the example of the disciples than the opinion of a decree.
In their subsequent travels (see/click on map below) their wives traveled with them because they were going to need the companionship. Where they were would be no acquaintances, no friends, and their wives would be there to sustain them in their sickness and trails and to encourage them and further to be "helpmates" to them. Paul and Barnabas thought differently, however. They were not married and yet they says that they did have a right to marry, if they wanted to.
So after two years of training, they graduate and Jesus goes a step farther by telling them in the commission that they are to witness to the uttermost part of the earth. They went.
...and the Bible records their "going" to Palestine, Asia Minor, Greece and to Rome to mention just a few places. The message was heard. They split up and under the direction of the Holy Spirit they take off in different directions........to spread the Word to the known world. Paul, around 62 A.D. says, (Colossians 1:23) "..this is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven.."
A MESSAGE RECEIVED (TRIED AND TESTED) BY THE TALL TWELVE TO A LOST WORLD.
IN- DEPTH study by clicking on:
Click on MAP showing where the Tall Twelve traveled.
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