Discovering the Disciples

Day 5

Today Jesus chose His twelve Disciples.

1. Simon Peter (Cephas)
A fisherman from Bethsaida in Galilee. One of the major leaders of the early church. Was crucified by Nero (upside-down) in Rome c. A.D. 64.

2. James son of Zebedee
A fisherman from Galilee. One of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples along with Peter and John. The first of the disciples to be martyred when he was beheaded by King Agrippa I in Jerusalem c. A.D. 44.

3. John the brother of James
The younger of the Zebedee brothers, John was first a disciple of John the Baptist. John was the only one of the Twelve not to die a martyr’s death. After his exile on Patmos he died in Ephesus c. A.D. 100.

4. Andrew
The brother of Peter. A disciple of John the Baptist. Was martyred in Achaia by crucifixion.

5. Philip
A fisherman from Bethsaida in Galilee. The first disciple of Jesus. Died as a martyr in Hierapolis.

6. Nathanael Bartholomew
From Galilee, a friend of Philip. Was martyred among the Parthians.

7. Matthew Levi
The son of Alphaeus. A tax collector from Galilee. May have been the “scribe” among the Twelve. A martyr in Ethiopia.

8. James son of Alphaeus
From Galilee and the brother of Matthew. Sometimes called James the Less. Martyred in Egypt.

9. Thomas Didymus
A twin from Galilee. He took the Gospel to India where he was martyred.

10. Simon the Zealot (Simon the Cananean)
From Cana of Galilee. A member the anti-Roman revolutionary Zealots. Martyred in Persia.

11. Judas Thaddaeus (Judas son of James)
From Galilee. Martyred in Persia.

12. Judas Iscariot
From Judea (the only disciple not from Galilee). The betrayer of Christ. Died of suicide.

The forerunner John the Baptist announced, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. When Jesus began His ministry He said, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. When Jesus sent forth His disciples, He told them to preach saying, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. (Matthew 10:7) Jesus told the disciples to heal the sick and cast out demons because healing and deliverance are part of the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus also warned the disciples of the persecution they would face. (Matthew 10:16-42) You will notice that of the eleven disciples (Judas having betrayed Christ and killed himself) only John did not die a martyr’s death.

When I was in India last week, I had breakfast one morning with four pastors who had been persecuted for preaching the gospel in Orissa. A mob of Hindu devotees of the monkey god Hanuman beat them with sticks, forced them to drink beer mixed with cow dung (a Hindu initiation rite), shaved their heads, put Hindu devotee marks on their foreheads and paraded them through the town on donkeys — a sign of humiliation. These men may have been humiliated before men, but they are honored among the angels and it was an honor for me to meet them. Each of these men continue to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Orissa.


Sunday I really enjoyed Eric Stark and the band doing Bob Dylan’s “I Believe You.” A song of resolve and prayer to remain faithful even when persecuted. Here are the words.

I Believe In You
By Bob Dylan

They ask me how I feel
And if my love is real
And how I know I’ll make it through.
And they, they look at me and frown,
They’d like to drive me from this town,
They don’t want me around
‘Cause I believe in you.

They show me to the door,
They say don’t come back no more
‘Cause I don’t be like they’d like me to,
And I walk out on my own
A thousand miles from home
But I don’t feel alone
‘Cause I believe in you.

I believe in you even through the tears and the laughter,
I believe in you even though we be apart.
I believe in you even on the morning after.
Oh, when the dawn is nearing
Oh, when the night is disappearing
Oh, this feeling is still here in my heart.

Don’t let me drift too far,
Keep me where you are
Where I will always be renewed.
And that which you’ve given me today
Is worth more than I could pay
And no matter what they say
I believe in you.

I believe in you when winter turn to summer,
I believe in you when white turn to black,
I believe in you even though I be outnumbered.
Oh, though the earth may shake me
Oh, though my friends forsake me
Oh, even that couldn’t make me go back.

Don’t let me change my heart,
Keep me set apart
From all the plans they do pursue.
And I, I don’t mind the pain
Don’t mind the driving rain
I know I will sustain
‘Cause I believe in you.