The Twelve Apostles
What is an apostle?
The word apostle means “one who is sent out.” In the New Testament, there are two primary usages of the word apostle. The first is in specifically referring to the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The second is in generically referring to other individuals who are sent out to be messengers/ambassadors of Jesus Christ.1 What is the difference between apostle and disciple?
Disciples were essentially students of Jesus during his existence. An apostle, along with being a student, was also trained further by the Jesus of Nazareth. The reason behind this was to turn the disciple into a preacher who helped spreading Jesus’ teachings.2 An apostle is a messenger and ambassador, someone who champions a critical reform movement, belief or cause. (more so in the Christian context) while a disciple is a follower and student of a mentor, teacher, or any other wise person, someone who accepts and helps in spreading the teachings of another or simply put one who learns any art or science.3 Disciples are called; apostles are sent. All apostles are disciples; not all disciples become apostles.4 What kind of people were they?
These men became the pioneering leaders of the New Testament church, but they were not without faults and shortcomings. Interestingly, not one of the chosen 12 disciples was a scholar or rabbi. They had no extraordinary skills. Neither religious, nor refined, they were ordinary people, just like you and me. But God chose them for a purpose—to fan the flames of the gospel that would spread across the face of the earth and continue to burn bright throughout the centuries to follow. He selected and used each of these regular guys to carry out his exceptional plan.5 What makes the 12 apostles unique?
Jesus Christ chose only twelve disciples because they represented each of the 12 tribes of Israel. They were Simon (Peter), Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, James and Thaddeus and Simon...
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