Twelve Apostles Chosen

The twelve:

Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-16

John provides some details: John 1:42-49

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One Reply to “Twelve Apostles Chosen”

  1. The accounts of Jesus’ choosing “the twelve” are pretty matter-of-fact and can quickly be read rather dismissively.

    1. Simon (called Peter)
    2. Andrew
    3. James
    4. John
    5. Philip
    6. Bartholomew (Nathanael in John 1:45)
    7. Thomas
    8. Matthew
    9. James son of Alphaeus
    10. Thaddaeus (aka Judas, son of James)
    11. Simon the Zealot
    12. Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him

    The precise order of the names varies, but all three accounts start with Simon (Peter) and end with Judas Iscariot. Why twelve? Perhaps this is in reference to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, but there is no attempt to suggest some sort of demographic representation from each. When you search on this question, there is no end to discussion about the number, so I’m not even about to begin to address that in this simple post.

    Jesus had many followers and he selected a number he felt was significant. History bears the wisdom of this choice, even if we want to debate the whys and wherefores! These nameless men before meeting Jesus set the world ablaze for Christ in their time, a fire that will not be extinguished.

    We hear from them throughout the Gospels, but they are not the focus of the Gospel narrative, rather, they are the instruments of Jesus for spreading the great news. There is no indication of debate about the chosen few, though it seems there were many more than 12 that typically followed Jesus and heard his teaching. Many modern churches use this number as their target for leadership teams or board of elders. It is interesting observing the incredible group dynamic that appears when you get 12 strong-willed people in one room to discuss an issue! That, of course, was not the case in Jesus’ time–the Twelve were they to take notes, to listen and to learn. For 11 of 12 the lessons learned were fantastic.  Judas Iscariot heard something different, something horrible that ultimately led to his actions as the one who would betray Jesus. That’s another story that we’ll cover in another post.

    One insight from this narrative is rather simple: small groups can change the world. It’s amazing what God can do with so few. It’s also amazing to remember what one deceiver can do in the midst of many believers. To God be the Glory in all things!


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