The 12 Disciples Part II
Synopsis of Bible Study 05/05/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Revisiting the 12 disciples
The 12 Disciples by name
- Bartholomew (Nathanael)
- James (son of Zebedee)
- James (the lesser or younger)
- John (the son of Thunder, the Revelation)
- Thaddeus (Jude)
- Peter (Cephas, Rock, Simon)
- Thomas (Doubting Thomas) He was a born a twin.
About the Disciples
First we will introduce you to a term called martyrdom. These were people who died for the cause of Jesus. All of the Disciples/Apostles were martyred in one way or another.
- He was a fisherman by occupation
- He was the brother of Peter and the son of Jonahs.
- He lived in Capernaum.
- He was a disciple of John the Baptist originally. (Mark 1:1 -18).
- He brought Peter to Jesus
- He was condemned to die on the cross.
- Andrew felt so unworthy to be crucified in the same fashion as Jesus, he requested to be crucified with an X-shaped cross.
- His Symbol: Two crossed fish in the shape of an X or the X shape
- Personality trait: Enthusiastic about Christ, Inquisitive, resourceful
- Life lesson: He felt that we should go out and eagerly share the good news about Jesus Christ
- Occupation was uncertain.
- He was the son of Talmai.
- Lived in Cannon Galilee.
- We think he was a Romanian Missionary.
- Many scholars think he came from royal blood. His name means son of Talmai. 2 Samuel 3:3 3And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; – Talmai was the king of Geshur whose daughter was Maacah which was the wife of David the Mother of Absalom.
- Nathanael was really Bartholomew’s first name. ( John 1:47 – Jesus referred to him as Nathanael)
- He died in India where he preached. He died by being fillet alive with knives.
- His symbol: 3 parallel knives.
- Personality traits: Skeptic, honest, and faithful. John 1:49: 49Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
- Life’s Lesson: Believers are called to test all things scripture and remain true to its principle.
James (son of Zebedee, son of Thunder, James the Elder or James the Great)
- His Occupation is a fisherman with his father and brother. Matthew 4:18-22 says 18And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 21And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
- Brother of the Apostle John. The two were inseparable.
- He lived in Capernaum.
- He preached in Judea and Jerusalem. In AD44, he was beheaded by Herod. This task was done in public. Acts 12:1-2: 1Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
- He was the first of the 12 Disciples to die.
- His symbol: 3 shells (sign of his pilgrimage by the sea).
- Personality Trait: Vengeful and fiery, selfish, and conceited. He was committed to Christ and courageous to the end. Acts 12:2: 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
- Also part of Jesus’ inner circle (consisting of Peter, James, and John)
- Life’s Lesson: Stand firm in the face of persecution. James- son of Zebedee
James (the lesser or younger)
- Uncertain about his occupation.
- Brother of Jude.
- This is the James that wrote the Apostle of James.
- Strong character and committed.
- This James died a horrible death. This James died by being sawed alive into pieces. He was crucified in Egypt.
- His symbol: A saw.
- Personality Traits: Strong character, Committed.
- Life’s Lesson: He believed that all followers of Jesus can accomplish the work of God without being in the limelight.
John (Son of Thunder, The revelator)
- He was the son of Zebedee.
- Brother of James the Great.
- He was known as the beloved disciple.
- Occupation: Fisherman
- He was part of Jesus’ inner circle.
- He wrote the gospel of John as well as 1, 2, & 3 John. He also wrote Revelation.
- Asia Minor is where he preached. He was exiled to the aisle. Patmos. He was sent there to die a slow and painful death in exile.
- He wrote what he saw in a vision after being led by the spirit of the Lord (found in the book of Revelations)
- He was at the cross with Jesus. ‘
- He died a natural death. There was an attempt to poison him though.
- His Symbol: A snake around a cup is his symbol.
- Personality traits: He was vengeful, fiery, judgmental, selfish, bold, loving, and compassionate after the Pentecost. Acts 4:13. 1 John 4.
- He was the treasurer. John 12:5-06: 5Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
- Son of Simon. He lived in Judah.
- He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and hanged himself after that. Judas became the traitor.
- He is hard to understand. We wonder if his betrayal was preordained by God or was Judas a demoniac agent. As a demonic agent, we wonder about the suicide? Can one repent from that? As being preordained by God, did God allow this just to execute the plan.
- Was a violent Jewish Nationalist. He followed Jesus in hopes of promoting his own dreams. He used his position as treasurer often to negotiate.
- His symbol: A hangman’s noose or money purse with silver coins falling out.
- Personality Trait: Greedy, deceitful, treacherous, and remorseful.
- Life’s lesson: He believed that not all who claim to follow Jesus are faithful to him and his foals. Thaddeus (Jude)
- He was the brother of James the younger.
- We know very little about him.
- He lived in Galilee. Assyria and Persia is where he preached.
- He died in Persia.
- Jerome called him Trinomious. This means a man with 3 names. Mark 3:18:18And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,- Here he is called Thaddaeus. Matthew 10:3: 3Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; – Here is called Lebbaeus. Luke 6:16: 16And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. – Here he is called Judas.
- He was characterized as a nationalist.
- Asked Jesus how he would manifest to the disciples and not the world. He made himself kno n as king rather than servant. – John 14:22-23:22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
- Jude was known for manifesting gifts of healing.
- He died at Ararat-He died by arrows.
- His symbol: Ship, because he was a missionary thought to be a fisherman.
- Personality Traits: Inquisitive, Confused
- Life’s Lessons: Jesus will reveal truths to those who follow him thasddaus
- He was a Tax collector in Galilee. Matt 9:9- Tax collectors dealt with public money. Most people didn’t like them.
- Lived in Capernaum.
- He wrote the book of Matthew.
- He died in Ethiopia
- Jews hated tax collectors.
- He was the first one to bring them the gospel in the Hebrew language so that they could understand it.
- His symbol: 3 money bags (this was to remind us Matthew was a tax collector before being called to be a Disciple)
- We don’t know how he died. We know he died and was martyred, but we don’t know how. They think he might have been cut open and burned at the stake, but we are not sure.
- Personality Trait: Hospitable.
- Life’s Lesson: Jesus Christ is for everyone even sinners and outcasts.
Peter (Cephas, Rock, Simon)
- He was as fisherman
- He was the son of Jonahs from Capernaum.
- He did evangelistic work among the Jews. He was crucified upside down. He asked to be turned upside down, because he didn’t think he was worthy to be crucified in the same manner as his savior. He was part of inner circle.
- It is believed that he wrote 1 & 2 Peter.
- Jesus called him Simon. He was like the chairman of the disciples. He spoke for them.
- He was married.
- His symbol: An upside down Cross. Other symbols for Peter were 2 crossed keys representing him being given the keys to the kingdom. In fact the whole apostolic succession belief is based on Peter. If you look at a Pope’s garment, there is two keys crossed sown on it.
- Peter was the switch blade carrying disciple.
- Personality traits: Impulsive yet cowardly, hot tempered yet tenderhearted, insightful yet dense.
- He was courageous and solid after the Pentecost Experience.
- Life’s Lesson: He believed that God can forgive our sins and strengthen the faith of those who love him.
- He preached in Perugia. .He died a martyr in a place called Hierapolis.
- He came from humble beginnings.
- He was a fisherman.
- The first 3 gospels record his name. In the gospel of John, Phillip becomes a living personality.
- Scholars wonder if he was the same Phillip that was ordained as a deacon. Phillip was the one that read to the Enoch and showed him away.
- He was hung and while doing so, he asked them not to wrap him up in linen and perfumes which was their form of embalming. He said he is not worthy of his body being treated the same way as Jesus’ body (his savior) was.
- His Symbol: Basket of bread loaves, because he was part of the feeding the multitude.
- Personality Traits: Practical, helpful, literal and confused. John 14:8
- He was called a Canaanite.
- He lived in Galilee.
- He died of some form of crucifixion, but not sure what.
- He was a Jewish nationalist very much into the law.
- He hated people that compromised with Rome.
- He had lots of faith. He was willing to share with the other disciples.
- His symbol: Fish laying on bible indicating that he was a fisherman who became a fisherman of men as a preacher.
- Personality Trait: Patriotic, loyal. Mark 3:18
- Life’s Lessons: He believed we should sacrifice politics to follow Jesus.
Thomas (Doubting Thomas)
- He was born a twin.
- Lived in Galilee.
- He was also known as Didymus (Greek name). John 20:24
- Hey labored in Persia and India.
- He died in a place called Mount Saint Thomas in India.
- His Hebrew name was Thomas and his Greek name was Didymus.
- Sometimes they called him Judas.
- This Thomas appeared at the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
- He was in upper room when Jesus appeared with the disciples. Thomas was the one that said he didn’t know the way. He is known as doubting Thomas. He was the one that said he was not going to believe that Christ had risen until he saw the nail prints in his hand.
- He died in India and with the spears.
- His Symbol: A group spears, stones and arrows
- Personality Trait: Inquisitive, doubtful, courageous, faithful.
When you look at the totality of the gospels, you have to recognize that there is a certain pattern of lessons that you can get from them. Jesus was training the disciples to reign. In all of these things there were lessons that Jesus was using in preparing the disciples to reign, before he would release them to be apostles. We can use some of these lessons, because we are disciples as well. We are being trained to function as the disciples of old did. Whether you know it or not, we are disciples too, because we are emulators and followers of Christ. The question we must ask it what things did Jesus do attempts to molding the disciples into their assignment?
I. Commitment to the cause
- True discipleship requires strong commitment to the cause.
- Examples of disciples whose priorities are straight:
- The disciples priorities– Mark 8:34 says 34And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.-True disciples have their priorities in order.
- We have to know how to handle persecution-Once our priorities are in order, we can handle persecution. Matthew 10:22 says 22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.
- We have to deny ourselves. Coming to church just on Sunday doesn’t count. Think of your level of commitment and your priorities. If it just looks like rain, some people won’t show up for church. However, we can be under a tornado warning and those same people will still get dressed and go out to a party. If we are Disciples of Christ, we have to deny our self and do what God calls us to do.
- We have to be able to handle persecution. If the disciples listed in the bible were martyred for their discipleship and all we have to worry about is people not liking us, then it looks strange for us to have the position we have. Some of us will get out the choir or some other Ministry simply because somebody doesn’t like us. If you think about it, this sounds stupid in relationship to what the Disciples had to go through. Everything Jesus was doing was in efforts of training the disciples. Jesus tried to teach them how to handle persecution. This is why each of them went to their deaths giving God the glory.
- As disciples we have to:
- Check our Identity– We must look like him.
- Check our Integrity– We have to act like Christ. (We have to go above looking like him)
- Here are two scriptures that validate this:
i. We have to love one another (This shows characteristics of a disciple.) John 13:35 says 35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. –As a disciple, we must love people. We don’t have to like them, but we must love them. Jesus loved everyone despite what they did to him.
ii. We must bear fruit. John 15:8 says 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. -We must bear much fruit. We can’t be disciples if we are sitting on our hands doing nothing. If our level commitment is there it shows up. It shows in our priorities, how we handle persecution, it show in our identity, and our integrity.
II. How you make disciples
- Evangelism has been lost in the local church. People depend so much on the Pastor’s personality and media outlets to draw people to Christ. The idea of one on one evangelizing has almost become extinct. How many people have you invited to your party to your party verses how many people have you invited to church. Things reproduce after themselves. Genesis 1:28 says 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.- In this scripture, Jesus was sitting things in motion. He wanted us to be fruitful and multiply.
- Don’t get a mad a church because it is growing. There is enough folk unsaved to go around. Matthew 9:37 says 37Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; – There is not a problem with the harvest. The problem is with the laborers.
- Jesus spoke about a empty pew in scripture. Luke 14:23 says 23And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. – Jesus wants his house filled. If you are true disciples, you ought to feel grieved every time you sit or walk by an empty seat at church. Every empty seat is another soul that might have gone to jail or died before knowing God. As a disciple, you have to be about being motivated to helping people change their lives.
- People join church and you don’t se e them anymore. Matthew 28:18-20 says 18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. – People join the church and you don’t see them anymore because they don’t submit to discipleship. They are not willing to attend the New Members class and the New Discipleship classes. The moment you give your life over to Christ, the devil intensifies the attack to make you second guess your decision. You will deal with stuff you haven’t before. You have to have someone to help you walk through this. One person that is a disciple qualifies to disciple someone else. We must go out and share Jesus Christ making Disciples of Christ.
III. Walk in authority
- Everywhere Jesus went demons trembled. Without him saying anything, they recognized Jesus because they recognize his authority. Luke 4:18 says 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
- The signs shall follow them. We are one the “Them” that is mentioned. In other words we are one of “Them”, because we are one of them that believe. Mark 16:17 says 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;- They spoke with new tongues, but it is more than an new language. There are people that speak in tongue that will still curse you out. It is about a new way of living life. They changed the way they spoke and they changed their thoughts. When you are a truly a disciple walking in authority, you will start changing. You are never supposed to go around chasing things. This is what Religion does. Religion will have you chasing stuff. When you are a disciple, things chase you. Blessings will overtake you. Most of the time we are tired, because we chase things that we were never supposed to chase.
- Greater works shall you do. John 14:12 says 12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. -You were supposed to do greater things. Mentors want you to do better than what they did. Everything that Jesus did, the disciples were compelled to do the same thing. That was the amazing thing about Peter walking on the water. Peter wanted to come and Jesus told him to come. Peter was able to do exactly what Jesus did (walking on the water). It makes you where you are not codependent on spiritual leadership. Jesus never enabled disciples. He tried to empower them. If you are not careful, you will let your Pastor enable you instead of empowering you. Enabled people will get upset, because the Pastor can’t come pray over your house. You should be empowered to cast the demons out yourself. Everything that Jesus did, he taught them (the Disciples), empowered them, and then put it to the test to see where they were. He empowered them and then he says he wants to see if they got it.
- Ex- Jesus talks about the seeds on stony grounds and among the thorns and then he says lets got to other side of the sea. Jesus goes sleep while on the ship. Remember that he is the mentor to them. A storm comes and he knew it was coming, because he is God. They didn’t know about the storm, but Jesus knew. He was just trying to get them to see where they were. When the storm came, they began to panic. They woke Jesus up and asked if he cared that they perished. They should have known if Jesus was on the ship, it wouldn’t go down. Jesus gets up and rebukes them and says to the storm peace be still. The disciples flunked the test. Just like this, when you begin to look at what is happening to world today, spiritual people should be asking is “God what are you saying to us?” The Tennessean interviewed Bishop Walker just the other day and his response was “Why is God having such a difficult time getting our attention?” Earthquakes happening, hurricanes, volcanic ash shutting down European airspace, and floods in Nashville of all places. We weren’t really in a flood zone. Not that we done anything wrong, but what is God saying? Not that you did anything wrong. He may be saying I want to know where my disciples are. While everyone else is nervous, true disciples ought to be walking in authority saying God has got this. True disciples let the world know that God is up to something and we want to be spiritual enough to discern and share with others what he is up to.
In the actions of the Apostles found in the book of Acts
Know that Acts is a History Book. In Acts 2:43 it says 43And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.-many and wonders and signs were done by apostles. – Where are the miracles and where are the wonders. Where is the level of faith to speak to faithfulness people and tell them God is able. This is the season for real disciples. Jesus told his disciple to go into the world and make disciples. And the world, in which they went, was similar to ours. It was a world full of political uprising and unusual events. In fact when they preached, one day 3000 souls were added to the church. Sometimes God will use events to make Godless people develop a God consciousness. It cultivates the soil so you can deposit a seed. It is an opportunity for real disciples to make a difference. Don’t miss this opportunity. God wants us to use these things to be a blessing to the kingdom, that he might be glorified.