Tag Archives: learner

Only 12?

Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles:Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. (Luke 6:12-19, NRSV)

He called His disciples and chose 12 of them???

So we say there were 12 disciples but Luke here clearly says there were more than 12 and Jesus chose 12 of them to set them apart.

Why 12? 12 tribes of Israel more than likely, plus it is a nice number.

And the word disciple can pertain to all of us as disciple means one who follows or learns from another.

or we could say apostle also because apostle means one who is sent.

So we are learners and followers of Jesus and ones He has sent.

So we may not be a set apart disciple or apostle but we still are one!


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On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified. When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.” Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.” (John 7:37-52, NRSV)

“Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” Asked Nicodemus.

Interesting question. Which they really didn’t answer. The pharisees answered with another question and comment.

They did not have an interest in discovering the truth about Jesus, they wanted Him gone.

He was leading people to a different understanding of what it means to follow God, and that was upsetting the apple cart if you will.

Nicodemus is the model disciple in John. While those called to follow Jesus fall away at His crucifixion, Nicodemus is there.

Nicodemus comes to Jesus under darkness at first. Seeking to know who Jesus is.

Then he speaks out a little more publicly, here in chapter 7, and the next time we see Nic in the gospel of John, he is helping take Jesus’ body off the cross.

From seeker, to speaking out in Jesus’ defense, to giving Him a proper burial. Nic goes from learner to learner, and continues to grow as one following Jesus.

If only we could be as bold as Nic was.


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He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, and to have authority to cast out demons. So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Mark 3:13-19, NRSV)

The 12 disciples. Or Apostles…

So Jesus appointed 12… Named here in Mark and 12 others in other gospels…

Which is interesting. We talk about the 12 disciples, but the list of names are different depending on where your list comes from. So how many disciples or apsotles were there?

Well given the actual meaning of the two words, there are as many as there are followers of Jesus.

You see disciple is learner and apostle is sent one.

All of us are sitting at the feet of Jesus learning and all of us are sent to show forth His love.

So go as a learner and one to tell of His love!


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Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, (Romans 1:1-6, NRSV)

Paul was called to be a disciple. Just like Andrew, Nathaniel, James and John, and all the rest of the 12 apostles.

You also were called by god to be a disciple, a learner of the teachings of Jesus and a doer of His will, and an apostle. You are one that is sent by God into the world to show the world what He has done for all of us.

Because of who Jesus was, a descendant of David, and because of who He is, the Son of God who died on the cross and rose from the dead for us. We are all called and sent to show His love and to call people to listen to Him and to allow Him to change them and bring them into an obedience of faith!

So listen to the call and heed it, and go into the world, knowing He goes with you!


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