Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Jesus' 12 Disciples
74. The Christian Disciple and Jesus’ Disciples
Matthew writing in Matthew 4v18-22: “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.”
Who were Jesus’ Disciples?
There are three main lists of disciples (Matthew 10:1-4, Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-16) who were chosen near the start of Jesus ministry. The Gospel of John offers no comprehensive list but does refer to them as “The Twelve” (John 6v67, John 6v70, and John 6v71)
3. James: he was the son of Aphaeus. He is also know as James the Less (Mark 15v40) or James the Just. He would later be the leader of the Jerusalem church (Acts)
8. Simon: also known as Simon the zealot (Matthew 10v4) and possibly from Jerusalem.
How were they chosen?
In the time of the New Testament, it was usual practice for a disciple to take the initiative and choose his master and then voluntarily join that school. However, in reverse of this practise, Jesus Himself chose those who were to follow Him by issuing a command to “Come, follow me.” (Matthew 4v18-22; Matthew 16v24; Matthew 19v21; Mark 1v17; Mark 8v34; Mark 10v21; Luke 9v23; Luke 18v22). Jesus chose them after a night of prayer and were given to Him by God (John 17v9). The reason that God gave them to Him as His disciples was so that they would produce fruit for God’s Kingdom (John 15v16). Jesus also placed some demands on those who wanted to follow Him. For some these demands proved too much so they went away, like the rich young ruler (Matthew 19v16-22). Others who initially attracted to Jesus left saying “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it? (John 6v60).
What were they chosen for?
As we read the Gospels, we know that they often got things wrong. Jesus often rebuked them, such as when the storm hit when they were in the boat. He rebuked them for panicking (Mark 4v38) and for fearing and lacking faith (Mark 4v40). This in spite of having seen Jesus do the things He had done. In Matthew’s Gospel the disciples mistake Him for a ‘ghost’ as He walked to them on the water (Matthew 14v22-36) and Jesus rebukes Peter for lacking faith as Peter looked at the storm (Matthew 14v30) rather than to Jesus Himself. When Peter tried to dissuade Jesus from going to the cross Jesus’ subsequent rebuke was meant for all the disciples and not just Peter (Mark 8v33). They did not yet understand the relationship between suffering and glory. By the time Peter had written 1 Peter, he did (1Peter 1v6-8, 1 Peter4v13-5:10).
In calling them to Himself, Jesus called them into a common discipleship of which they are to “love one another” (John 15v17). The reason for this is so that people will know they are His disciples by their love for one another (John 13v34, John 15v16) and this will produce the desired fruit for God’s kingdom and an effective prayer life (John 15v16).
For more to think about please do read John 15v18-24. Ask yourself the following questions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.
Q1. Looking back on my life, how did Jesus choose me to be His disciple and why?
Q2. As I continue my life as a Christian Disciple, what things are holding me back from total obedience and service to Him?
Q3. Do I truly show love towards others in my life as a Christian Disciple?
As ever, if you have any comments to make on this, please do contact me at partake(at)hotmail.co.uk. Thank you.
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