Jesus appointed twelve among all who followed Him, naming them Apostles. That’s a special and unique station in history, and even though we hear of churches today who claim apostleship, it belonged to a select few and for a specific purpose. Jesus named:
- Simon, who Jesus called Peter
- James and his brother John
- Simon the Zealot
- Judas Iscariot
As the father of a childhood friend often said of his son and friends, “well, there goes a motley crew.” And that they were: diverse and varied, unlearned (Acts 4:13), from obscure stations (Matthew 4:18) – yet they were chosen by Christ Himself to carry forth the great commission – the one which, 2,000 years later, is bringing salvation to countless millions around the world.
Yet in every new venture there’s someone to spoil the whole thing. None of Jesus’ disciples – and not even His elite Apostles – fully understood His purpose. It was a very different concept to grasp: Jesus had to die in order to redeem all of them – all of us – from the sinful state we were all born in to since the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden.
Everyone born since that day were separated from God by that ‘DNA’ introduced into mankind. And Jesus was the only exception: flawless, having been born of the Holy Spirit, the only worthy sacrifice to redeem us of our sins. A concept that we – after 2,000 of exposition by biblical scholars – have difficulty understanding, yet these twelve men – well, eleven of them – believed though they didn’t understand.
So this one, Judas Iscariot, tried too hard to understand and so missed the whole point. Thinking he was going to set things right – that Jesus Christ, the Son of God needed help – he turned Jesus in to His enemies, and fulfilled prophesy in doing so.
Did Jesus know there was a traitor among His elite Apostles? Of course He did – Judas was who he was, and was part of the plan. God uses both the obedient and the disobedient to accomplish His will.
I pray to be counted among the obedient. What about you?
Jesus calls 12 Apostles to be with Him, preach and have authority over demons: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddaeus, Simon and Judas.
- Jesus calls twelve to be His Apostles (Mark 3:13-15)
- The first four (Mark 3:16-17)
- The additional eight, including Judas who would betray Jesus (Mark 3:18-19)
Jesus names, gives authority to, twelve Apostles
To cause the audience to accept Jesus’ call to be one of His own