2013-09-08 - The Disciples
Luke 6:12-16 (NIV)
Lists of the twelve disciples are found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Additionally, the dozen men are mentioned in Acts. The Gospel of John does not provide a list of Jesus' chosen followers. The order of the twelve disciples varies between the four lists found in the Bible; however, Peter is always listed first and Judas Iscariot is always mentioned last. The twelve are often called disciples, and sometimes they are identified as the Apostles.
What is the difference between a Disciple and an Apostle? A disciple is a learner or student. An apostle is one sent with a special commission. In Jesus' case, the twelve learned from Him as His disciples, and were later sent out the spread the Good News as apostles.
Verse 12 tells us that Jesus put a lot of thought and prayer into selecting these twelve men. Many people followed Jesus and were His disciples, but He chose these twelve men to learn from Him and then fulfill a special mission. As He frequently did during His time on Earth, Jesus prayed before making his decision of whom to pick. In fact, he spent all night in prayer.
Next week we will consider the first disciple listed in all four accounts -- Simon Peter.
Richard Moser, Jr