One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and He prayed to God all night. At daybreak He called together all of His disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names: Simon (whom He named Peter), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the zealot), Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed Him).Luke 6:12-16
Did you come up with some questions to ask? I hope so. There are lots of them. I won’t pretend I will cover them all in the Gems that stem from this. I will pick and chose what to include and what not to include. Here are some questions to ask about the passage compiled from reader responses with additions from me. I am sure others of you came up with questions not included here.
- What is the true connection in the phrase “one day soon afterward”?
- Why did Jesus go up to a high mountain?
- What did Jesus pray about?
- Did He pray for Himself with regard to making the decision or did He pray for each one who would be called as a disciple?
- Why did He choose these guys in particular?
- Who are these men? Do a character study on each one.
- What made them eligible for selection?
- What was the criteria for selection?
- Why were no women chosen among the disciples?
- What does “disciple” mean?
- What is the difference between a disciple and an apostle?
- Why were only 12 chosen? Many more were available.
- Is there any significance in the number twelve?
- Is there any significance to the names?
- What is a zealot?
Let me make some more general observations and then in the next Gem tomorrow we will look at the people named and investigate still further. It would be valuable for you to do a character study on each person listed but don’t assume I will do that for you in the context of the Gems. That is for you to do. There are two essential ways to carry out a Character study.
- Use a Concordance or do a word search in your electronic Bible and find all the references to the person in focus. Find out all you can of what is written about them in the text of the Word of God.
- Use the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) in E-Sword to give you the background on who each person is and what the Bible says about them.
I will select some for specific mention in the next Gem. Now I want to highlight what I hope you would see from the previous Gem.
Did you compare the lists of disciples from Matthew, Mark and Luke? I am sure you did and I’m sure too that you noticed the differences. The names are in a different order in each list. Is there any reason for that? I am sure you noted too that the names are not the same. There are some differences. Oh not much. Essentially we have the same list but with some variations.
Simon, Andrew James and John are one group repeated in the same order between Matthew and Luke but are found in a different order in Mark.
Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas and James constitute another group, found in all three gospels but vary according to the order of Matthew and Thomas.
Simon the Zealot and and Judas Iscariot bring up the rear making a third group of which also the second Judas (son of James) or Thaddaeus is a part. The names are all the same apart from the fact that Thaddeaus is also called Judas. Only Luke records two Judases, the other two gospel writers use the name Thaddaeus . What is behind all this?
I am thinking at the moment that I will leave this particular little puzzle with you for a further day before I comment on it. That will give you time to play detective and find out for yourself. Practice your detective skills before you open your own private eye agency.
Next Gem we will look at Jesus’ Motley crew. I mean, in all seriousness, would you have chosen these guys if you had the task of winning the world for Father God? Such a rag tag, Motley Crue (read motley crew) of merry men. Mmmm much to talk about there. But I will let you stew in the juices overnight. Sorry for mixing so many metaphors but you can handle it I am sure. Have more fun; even more than provided by the challenge in the previous Gem. See you back with the same twelve on the mountain again soon. Or would you rather be off playing tennis with Rod Laver? [See Gem 815] I must admit I would be torn between the two if I had the chance to play Rod. I think I could take him now. Ha ha. But hey I will turn up next Gem to meet with you and the twelve and Jesus on mountain because I have made a commitment to do so.
A day hemmed in prayer is less likely to come unraveled!Rick Godwin
Very often, what appears to be the end, may really be a New Beginning!Rick Godwin
Hope is like the sun: as we journey toward it, it castes the shadow of our burden behind us.Elisabeth Tanzil
How do I know if my mission on earth is finished? If you’re still alive – it isn’t!Rick Godwin