A disciple is one who follows the teachings of a master. As apostles they are those who are sent and applied to couriers who carried letters from rulers or other in authority. Explicitly Jesus named His 12 disciples as messengers. He would send them out to preach, promising that they, too, should heal the sick and cast out demons. Just as the terms rabbi, teacher, master derive from the Jewish vocabulary, so do the New Testament term disciple (pupil) and following. It is no accident that we are occasionally told also of the disciples of the Pharisees. The special relationship between Jesus and the disciples is in keeping with this. Once and for all this sentence applies: "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master."

The twelve disciples were: Simon and Andrew, the sons of Jonas, James and John the sons of Zabdia, and Philip, of the little village of Bethsaida. If Mary, the wife of Alpheus or Klopas was a younger sister of the Virgin, then should have to consider these two brothers as first cousins of the Lord. If Matthew be the same as Levi, he was the son of Alpheus, and therefore a brother of James the Less and of Jude, the brother of James, who is generally regarded as identical with Lebbaeus and Thaddeus, belonged in all probability to Cana or Capernaum. Nathaniel or Bartholomew was of Cana in Galilee. Thomas and Simon Zelotes were also Galileans, Judas Iscariot was the son of a Simon Iscariot, but whether this Simon is identical with the Zealot cannot be determined, Judas, not Iscariot mentioned Jn. 14.22. Simon of Zelotes, the Zealot, or the Canaanite - names which are identical in meaning, and which mark him out as having once belonged to the wild and furious followers of Judas of Giscala. It has never been easy to sort this all out.

The choice of an ex-zealot as an apostle, giving grounds for political suspicion is another sign of Jesus' disregard of mere prudential wisdom. Jesus wished His disciples to be a type of the future church and therefore we find it a union of opposites - the tax gatherer Matthew, and the tax-hater Simon - the unpatriotic Jew who served the alien, and the patriot who strove for emancipation.

The Gospels give us a clear impression of the strong movement Jesus stirred up among the people, especially during the Galilean ministry. Again and again we are told that the crowd pressed around Him and followed Him, and that Jesus can scarcely restrain them. They listened to Him eagerly and were amazed at the authority of his teaching; they sought of Him healing power for the sick; they praised the miracles that he performed. These people, however do not constitute His disciples. To follow somebody from place to place is not discipleship. Calling to Him His 12 disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, so as to cast them out, and to cure every kind of disease.

Invested with this power, the 12 were sent out alone without the Master, like a select detachment on a special mission with definite instructions. Their mission was to announce that the kingdom of God was at hand as John the Baptist had done and Jesus too. They were sent ahead to districts not yet covered, still in Israel. By virtue of the power they had just received, cure the infirm, cleanse lepers, drive out unclean spirits, and even raise the dead to life. Theirs was the mission of Jesus transmitted now from one to twelve but with the same purpose and methods.

A quote from the Quran: "When Jesus found unbelief on their part, He said 'Who will be my helpers to God?.' Said the disciples: 'We are God's helpers, We believe in God, and bear witness that we are Muslims.'"

A hybrid crew those twelve. Yet Jesus informed them that He had chose deliberately, and that His official mission must begin at once with the death of John the Baptist.
[35, 309, 319, 324, 325, Matthew]

The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers

As One Body

  • We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain
  • Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory

Help To Prepare A Holy Bride!

Issue Oriented Discussion Newsletter

Index | Search This Site | Aristide.Org | The Latter Rain | Babylon the Great | The Kingdom | The Nicolaitans | Jezebel
The Baptism With the Holy Ghost | The Grand Delusion | World Trade Org | Liberation Theology | Jay Atkinson | Alphabetical Index