WHO ARE THE TWELVE DISCIPLES?
- They were twelve Jewish men whom Jesus called to follow him during his three-year ministry on earth.
- The twelve disciples were from the Galilee region in the north except for Judas Iscariot, who was from Judea in the south.
- Their occupations ranged from fisherman to tax collectors and revolutionaries.
- Some were married (Mark 1:29-31; 1 Cor 9:3-6).
- Some were well-versed in Scripture (John 1:46).
- After being baptized by John the Baptist and spending forty days in the wilderness, Jesus started teaching and many people started following him.
- After a night of prayer and meditation, Jesus chose twelve men out of all those who were following him.
- These twelve men would be Jesus’ main focus of instruction.
- These disciples were selected to let the world know of God’s love, that God sent Jesus to redeem the world (John 17:23).
- These are the twelve men who, for the most part, would prove to be valuable companions to Jesus.
- Their instruction and conversations would become the teachings, knowledge, and instruction for the church that would later grow and spread.
- Jesus knew their personalities, both strong and weak.
- Jesus knew that these men would disappoint him, desert him, deny him, and betray him.
- Jesus knew that these men, once filled with the Holy Spirit, would be the first witnesses of the gospel, carrying God’s message of redemption to Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.
- The twelve tribes of Israel were blessed in order to be a blessing to all nations. In a similar way, these twelve men, along with all disciples of Jesus who follow their lead, were to bless all nations (Gal 3:8). Followers of Christ are commanded to go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt 28:19).
BEING A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST
BEGINNING THE JOURNEY: COUNT THE COST
- Jesus said that whoever wants to follow him, that person must deny himself and take up his cross. He said that if one wants to save his life he will lose it, but if he loses his life for Jesus and for the gospel, he will save it.
- When Simon Peter, James, and John encountered Jesus, they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
FOLLOWING CHRIST TOGETHER: FELLOWSHIP
- Jesus prayed that his followers would be brought to complete unity.
- The followers of Jesus were not to give up meeting together and were to encourage one another.
SERVING CHRIST AND OTHERS
- Jesus said that whoever wants to become great among his disciples must be a servant, just as Jesus himself did not come to be served, but to serve, and “to give his life a ransom for many.”
FAILURES AND FORGIVENESS
- When Jesus was arrested all the disciples deserted him and fled, and Peter denied knowing him because he feared for his life.
- Later Jesus said that the disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came to them and that they would share the good news in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and all over the earth.
IN THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT
- Jesus promised the disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to them, and that the Holy Spirit would guide them and provide them with gifts that would help them carry out their mission.
- Paul wrote to the Corinthian church information them that there is only one Spirit, but different kinds of gifts. There is only one God, but several kinds of good works.
Mark 8:34-35; 14:71-72; Luke 5:11; John 16:5-16; 17:23; Heb 10:25; Matt 20:26-28; 26:56; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor 12:4-12.
NOTE: Not an actual picture of the 12 disciples