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The Disciples

Updated: Feb 3

Read across the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and one thing you will notice about Jesus is that He did not seek anyone to follow. He went to twelve men and told them, "Follow me". It is important to know the disciples and their actions, because this was the start of the early Christian church, and their actions are described within the gospels, and the Book of Acts. If the disciples and their actions were not worthy of knowing, then why is it recorded in the Holy Bible?

Each of these gospels tells us that Jesus went to the mountain to pray all night to God, and when it was daytime, Jesus Christ called His disciples. Jesus Christ also called them apostles (Luke 6:13). Here is a list of the first disciples according to the gospels of Matthew and Mark:

  • Peter

  • Andrew

  • James

  • John

  • Phillip

  • Bartholomew

  • Matthew

  • Thomas

  • James

  • Simon

  • Lebbaeus

  • Judas Iscariot

Who Were the Disciples?

Peter and Andrew were bothers and the sons of Jona. James and John were also brothers, and their father was Zebedee. These four men were fishermen, and Jesus Christ called them by the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 4). James and John were referred to as the Boanerges brothers, which translates to "the sons of thunder" (Mark 3:17). Peter, Andrew, and Philip were from Bethsaida (John 1:44).

Peter was also called Simon, and there is a reference in John 1:42 calling Peter, Cephas, "thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." In Matthew 16, we know what Jesus was talking about. When Jesus Christ came into the Caesarea Philippi, He asked the disciples, "who do you say that I am?"

Simon Peter said that "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

When Jesus Christ heard this from Simon Peter, Jesus told him that he was blessed because this was revealed to him by "My Father who is in heaven", (Matthew 16:17) and that "(18)you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (19) And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

The Holy Bible does not go into detail about Philip and is even less descriptive on Bartholomew, and Lebbaeus. It is vague on the second James in the list of disciples, and our only clue is that he was the son of Alphaeus (Matthew 10:3).

Cross, Coptic Cross
Coptic Cross from Ethiopia and Eritrea (countries in Eastern Africa). The three points are meant to represent God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There are twelve total points that represent the 12 Disciples which Jesus Christ also called them apostles.

Matthew was a tax collector and a Levite. The latter indicates that he was a descendant of Levi, one of the original Israelite tribes. In Numbers 3, the Levites shall be taken for the Lord. The Levites would become priests during the time of Moses. In fact, both Moses and his brother Aaron were descendants of the Levi line, as was Jesus Christ.

Thomas was called the Twin, and he told the other disciples to go with Jesus when He resurrected Lazarus (Mary Magdalene and Martha's brother) (John 11:16). Yet, being a witness to all that Jesus had done, including resurrecting Lazarus, Thomas doubted the disciples that said they saw the Lord, when Jesus Christ was resurrected. Thomas would come to believe this only when Jesus Christ came to the house that the disciples were staying in, and he touched the wounds inflicted on Jesus when He was staked to the cross (see John 20: 24-29).

Simon (not Simon Peter) was a Canaanite (Matthew 10:4). Canaanites are descendants of Noah's line through his son Ham. Ham is the father of Canaan. When Noah become drunk on wine, he uncovered himself in his tent, and Ham saw this. Ham told his other brothers, Shem, and Japheth, who went into the tent and covered Noah. When Noah became sober, he cursed Canaan, "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants he shall be to his brethren." (Genesis 9:25). Because of this action, the Canaanites are considered a cursed and dirty people by the inhabitants of the northern Arabian Peninsula. In addition to this, according to the Gospel of Luke, Simon was called the Zealot (Luke 6:15).

Finally, there is Judas Iscariot. Judas would be the one that would betray Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:16). When Jesus Christ was handed over to the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, Judas was remorseful and tried to return the thirty pieces of silver to the elders, but the elders said that it was of no concern of theirs and told him to "see to it!" (Matthew 27:4). Judas threw the silver in the temple and departed and hung himself. The elders then used the silver to buy a potter's land, which "has been called the Field of Blood to this day." (Matthew 27:8). It would become a cemetery. These actions would fulfill the prophecy:

So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.

13 And the Lord said to me,

“Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me.

So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord

for the potter. (Zechariah 11:12-13)

What Was Given to Them?

According to the Gospel of Matthew, the disciples were given power "over unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease." (Matthew 10:1). The Gospel of Mark lists this out similiarly, "Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons." (Mark 3:14) The statement about preaching the Holy Bible aligns with what Jesus Christ told the disciples before He ascended into Heaven, "(15) Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but He who does not believe will be condemned." (Mark 15-16).

Yes, you will be saved if you believe in Jesus Christ. (Be sure to repent from sin and confess sin). God is faithful. Hallelujah!

Accepting Jesus Christ as Your Savior

Beloved, if you have not received Jesus into your life, and you have come to believe in Him as your savior, He is reaching out to you now. If you want to accept Jesus Christ, for nothing is done in force by Christ, say this prayer:

God, I confess that Jesus came in the flesh and blood, paid the price for my sins, died on the cross, rose on the third day, ascended to the heavens, and sent the Holy Spirit to help me understand Your ways. For that, I accept Jesus Christ as my savior and Lord, and I welcome the Holy Spirit in my life. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen!

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