Today we will be studying one of the high points in the ministry of Jesus, that is, when He appointed His apostles in order to prepare them as His own ambassadors. Their task would be to take the message of the Kingdom of God to the entire world.
Matthew’s account of the calling of the apostles (Matthew 10:1) simply says that Christ “called His twelve disciples”. Luke, on the other hand, gives us more information about how these important choices were made. (Luke 6:12-16).
According to Luke’s account:
Where was Jesus when He chose the apostles?
What did He do before He made the choice?
How many men did He call as apostles?
The number Twelve had a special meaning to the Jewish people. You will remember that the provisional kingdom belonging to David was made up of the tribes of Israel, descendents of the (give the number) sons of Israel (Jacob). So then, the number Twelve became a symbol of the .
This same symbolism is found in the New Testament.
Revelation 21:12 states that the gates of the heavenly city had written on them, the tribes of .
Again in Revelation 21:14, the Bible says that the foundation stones of the city had written on them the names of the .
Jesus Himself taught in Luke 22:29-30 that the apostles would sit on judging the tribes of Israel.
We already know that a throne is a biblical symbol for the . So also, the number is another symbol of the kingdom.
We are going to look more closely at the names of the apostles so we can do an analysis of them.
Read the names of the first six apostles in Matthew 10:2-3. Watch out! The names of some of their fathers are included in this list of the apostles. Don’t get them confused. Read the verses over several times until you can write the names of the first six apostles in the spaces below from memory. Do not look back at your Bible unless you have completely forgotten a name.
Correct your answers above if it is necessary.
The first four of these six disciples were called to leave their ships beside the Sea of Galilee in the story of the Expansion of the Kingdom in Matthew 4.
What is the reference for this story? Matthew 4:to
According to the verses you have just read who was the father of James and John?
Think about what these men did to earn their living. So then, these four apostles can well be called the four of Galilee.
Andrew’s brother had two names. What are these two names? Matthew 10:2 and
Who were the two sons of Zebedee? and .
Which of the sons of Zebedee wrote the fourth gospel? .
Actually, these four men had already enjoyed Jesus’ friendship for some time. It is possible to distinguish three separate stages in the ministry of Peter, Andrews, James, and John.
(Beginning Disciples – Beside the Jordan)
Where was the first place these four men met Jesus?
In what year of Jesus’ ministry was this?
Which Gospel tells about this?
Go back to John 1:35-42 and read the episode of the first disciples. In the last verse of this passage we learn something more about Peter.
What was his father’s name?
What was the third name that Peter had?
Who took Peter to Jesus?
(Full time Disciples – At the Sea of Galilee)
Where did these four men leave their boats to follow Jesus?
In which year of Jesus ministry?
Give the reference for this episode in Matthew’s Gospel.
(Apostleship – On a mountain)
It is important to notice that Jesus chose men He knew well to be His apostles. They were mature men even though they were young.
Which one of them was married?
How do we know?
Give the reference in Matthew for this fact.
What were the three names by which this man was known?
The men Jesus chose to be His apostles had already proven themselves in ministry and in life. They were successful fishermen. We know this from the episode in Mark 1:20, because they left their boats with the they employed.
Why did Jesus choose faithful and mature men for His work? What lessons can we learn about the ministry of your own?
In which year of Jesus’ ministry were the four fishermen called to be His apostles? Year of
What is the reference in Matthew?
Where did this take place?
Now let’s look at the last pair of apostles in the first group of six. They were and .
These Two men Philip and Bartholomew were not brothers. Nevertheless, there appears to have been a close friendship between them. Bartholomew was also called Nathanael. He is called by this name in the episode in John’s gospel. Read John 1:43-51.
Where was Philip from?
Who else was from that same city? and
We know that several of the first apostles were near the Jordan River with John the Baptist when they met Jesus at the beginning of the Year of Preparation. Later, they went along with Jesus on His return trip to Galilee because they were also Galileans.
We have seen that Peter, Andrew and Philip were all from the town of
What was Nathanael’s home town? Read John 21:2.
When Jesus and His new disciples returned to Galilee, what town did they go? Read John 2:1-2
Since you know that this took place during the Year of Preparation, you should also know that Jesus would be returning to:
Cana lies just to the north of Nazareth.
Two of the six episodes in the Year of Preparation took place in the little town of Cana.
The first is told in John 2. It was the
The second is in John 4. It was
Now we know at least two reasons why Jesus visited Cana frequently:
It was close to His home in
It was the home of one of His apostles, whose name was
Actually, the story of the call of Nathanael in John 1:43-51 and the episode of the wedding in Cana in John 2:1-12 go together. Our Bibles are divided into chapters and verses, but the original writings were not. When the division was made for chapter 2, it separated the story into two parts. After calling Bartholomew to be a disciple, Jesus attended the wedding feast.
What was Bartholomew’s other name?
Who introduced him to Jesus?
What did Bartholomew say to Christ
“You are the of ;
You are the of .”
What are the names of the last six apostles in the list? You may use your Bible.
What are the names of the first two of these apostles? and .
Which of these is the author of a Gospel?
What did he do before following Jesus?
How did we describe his response to the call to be a disciple? and
What was Matthew’s other Name?
What is the Bible reference for the call of Matthew? You may use your Bible if you need to.
Following His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the apostles when Thomas was not with them. You can read what happened after that in John 20:24-25. What nickname best suits Thomas?
You may have noticed that the names of the twelve apostles are given in Pairs in Matthew 10. It was Jesus’ practice to send out the apostles are given in pairs in Matthew 10. It was Jesus’ practice to send out the apostles Two by Two for times of ministry. This may be the reason why the names are listed in this manner. If so, who was the companion of Matthew, when they were sent out to minister in pairs? He has been remembered in the Church as “The Doubter”.
The next two apostles are “unknown”. The Bible gives very little additional information about them. However, both of them had other names which are mentioned in the Synoptics.
Read Mark 15:40. Here James the son of Alphaeus is called James the , who was the son of .
Read Luke 6:16. What other name was used for Thaddaeus? .
I was possible that the name Thaddaeus is used by Matthew and Mark in order to avoid confusion with the apostle who betrayed Jesus.
How many men in the list were named James?
The two men can be kept apart by referring to the names of their fathers. One father was named , while the other was .
The last two apostles in the list in Matthew 10 are famous!
What are their names? and .
Which one of them was a Jewish revolutionary before he began to follow Jesus?
Which of the two betrayed Jesus?
These twelve men were mature, ordinary people, without great academic backgrounds. Nevertheless, as a result of their time with Jesus they shook the entire world with the message of the Kingdom of God.
From House to House
Jesus was the greatest teacher of all times. And, like all wise teachers, He sent His students, the apostles, out to practice the things they were learning. We are going to have a look at this episode today, but first let’s study Matthew 10:5-42.
Jesus explained that some will receive the message of the kingdom. But others will not.
Before Jesus sent the apostles out we gave them special instructions. This talk is told to us in Matthew 10:5-42. We can analyze this training session into Three main parts.
Read Matthew 10:5-15
According to this passage, where did the apostles do their first practical work? Was it among their own people (the Jews) or was it among foreigners? Read Matthew 10:5-6.
According to the account in Marks Gospel, how many groups were sent out?
So then, the apostles were instructed to begin their ministry only among the Jewish people. However, Jesus also told them that they would someday reach out farther.
Read Matthew 10:18. How far, where the apostles to reach in the future?
After the resurrection, where did Jesus send the apostles? Read Matthew 28:19.
We can also learn a lesson from this. It is most often better to start our practical ministry with easier tasks among people we know. After we have gained some experience we can reach out into other areas. Because the apostles were Jews, Jesus sent them first to the . It was long afterward, when they had gained experience and maturity, that He sent them into all .
What did the apostles teach to people during this time of practical ministry? Read Matthew 10:7. The message of the of .
Like Jesus the apostles used two things to spread the message of the kingdom. What were these things?
The apostles had spent some time with Jesus and watched Him as He used these same two methods of spreading the kingdom. We have already looked closely at these in the lessons on the Statutes of the Kingdom and the Evidence of the Kingdom.
Yes, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught His followers all they needed to know to teach other’s about the kingdom.
How to have true happiness: Matthew 5:to
About sincerity and hypocrisy: Matthew 6:to
About humility: Matthew 7:to
It is worth saying once again that the apostles did not dare to try this kind of practical ministry without training. They were not empty, but rather they were full of the training of Jesus Himself.
You and I have this material at hand as well! Engrave the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount on your heart so that you may be fully trained for the ministry the Lord has given to you.
But, the apostles did not only go to preach the things they had been taught. They also went to perform miracles of grace and love just as Jesus had done.
For example, Matthew 5:44 in the Sermon on the Mount, and Matthew 8:5-13 teach the very same truth: that we are to love those we are reaching out to.
Only after this training did Jesus command the apostles to go out and minister to others.
In which of the verses (10:7 or 10:8) did Jesus teach by words?
In which of these verses did Jesus teach by His deeds?
However, Jesus did not send them out believing that they would have an easy time. He didn’t deceive them about the difficulties they would undergo great sacrifice. Read Matthew 10:9-10. That they would give up the normal comforts of life in order to give themselves to this work.
With what words from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6) did Jesus prepare His disciples to seek treasures in heaven? Give the Bible reference.
In what deeds (Matthew 9) did Jesus show His disciples that God takes care of the sick, even in their poverty? Give the Bible reference.
The disciples had to learn one basic lesson about material possessions right from the start. What was that lesson?
According to the words of Jesus in this passage, what buildings would the apostles use to do their practical work?
Jesus must have placed great importance upon visiting in the home. We know, for example, that Jesus Himself stayed in the homes of His apostles. Identify the following:
The home of which of the future apostles Jesus visited in Matthew 8.
The home of which apostles Jesus visited in Matthew 9.
Read Acts 20:16 and 20:20. What other great servant of God taught in homes . Using this as our example, can you name one of the best places for you to begin your own practical ministry?
In spite of the fact that the apostles were to go to their own people, the task was not easy. Remember, Jesus explained that ahead of time. Some homes would be open to the message and others would flatly refuse the message.
Jesus used a story from the Old Testament to symbolize these two types of response. In Genesis 19, you can read the story of Abraham’s nephew, Lot. Two entire cities were destroyed because they refused to listen to Lot’s warnings. So to, Jesus said, the homes which refused the message of the Kingdom of God would also be destroyed.
Leader, you are now in a position much like that of the apostles. Follow their example and go out to visit in in your own area. You have received the same training as the apostles in the message of the Kingdom of God. We have studied the Sermon on the in Matthew, chapters and we have also examined the miracles of Jesus in Matthew, chapters . Jesus sent His apostles out in groups of people so it would be a good idea for you to ask the Lord to give you a partner, perhaps someone in your group. Make plans to go visiting together and look for a home that will be to the message. Be sure to return to that home to visit again and to teach the message of the of . Encourage the family to invite friends, neighbors and relatives to come and take part as well. You can lead the Bible study in the way you have learned in a previous lesson.
When you are rejected by a family you should: Leave that home for a time and continue visiting until you find a home that is ready to receive the message.
In a interested family you should begin to form a congregation in that home. You should preach about the kingdom of God and pray for those who are sick and needy offering any other help you can.
Take some time now to consider how you can apply this lesson to your own situation. Be sure to meditate upon Jesus teaching about going from house to house and Pray about how you and the others in your group can begin to minister in your area. Write down some of your ideas in the space provided.
Read Matthew 10:16-23. If we faithfully visit homes in order to reach families for Jesus Christ, we know that some will receive the message of the kingdom gladly. However, it is also to be expected that some will not! It is important to realize ahead of time that one of the results of our ministry from house to house will be
In Acts 14:22, the Apostle Paul says: “we must go through many to enter the Kingdom of God.”
You are training for a spiritual fight to the death!
Read Matthew 10:24. Hear Jesus teaches that a servant cannot be greater than his .
What finally happened to Jesus as a result of His ministry?
Read Matthew 10:18.
Jesus told the apostles that they would be taken before which authorities as a result of their ministry and the persecution which came as a result of it?
Exercise: Underline the word “Kings” in Matthew 10:18 in Red.
Persecution comes in many forms. Read these verses again (Matthew 10: 16-23) and note the references which show the following kinds of growing opposition to the ministry of Jesus followers.
Political Persecution – They will be handed over to the governors and kings – Matthew 10:
Social Persecution – They will be hated by all people. Matthew 10:
Religious persecution – They will receive beatings in the synagogues. Matthew 10:
They will be betrayed by members of their own family – Matthew 10:
Read Matthew 10:20. From this verse, we know there is only one in whom believers can trust during times of persecution. Who is this?
What did Jesus mean when He told His disciples that they should trust the Holy Spirit without need of preparation? (See Matthew 10:19-20). That it is not necessary to prepare ourselves when we are suddenly faced with persecution and those who falsely accuse us.
The world does not recognize the workings of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 10:25, Christ says that the world will say that those who preach the message of the kingdom are really from . The verse says that they have called the head of the house, that is Himself Beelzebub, how much more will the world accuse His .
According to Matthew 9:34, who is Beelzebub?
How to Face Persecution
Read Matthew 10:26-33. Every believer should spend a lot of time studying this passage because it teaches that: believers can stand all persecution, even unto death.
Read Matthew 10:32-33. Why are we to keep on witnessing, even under the most severe persecution?
Share any persecution you may have faced all ready?
Which of Jesus’ teachings helped you to face this opposition?
BIO:T.T. Martin 1862-1939
American evangelist. T.T. Martin was born in Smith County,
Mississippi, on April 28, 1862. Following a childhood and youth amid
the extreme poverty of the post-war South, he was graduated from
Mississippi College, where his father both preached and taught
mathematics. While preparing for a career of law, he felt a growing
impression that he must preach. And, after a period of intense and
prayerful self-examina- tion, he gave up his legal ambitions and
devoted himself to preparing for the ministry, graduating from the
Southern Bap- tist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, in
While awaiting assignment for the foreign mission work, he was
stricken with an almost fatal attack of food poisoning, and was advised
by physicians to move to Colorado as his only chance of recovery. From
1897 to 1900, he was pastor in Cripple Creek. Preaching there and in
nearby camps, often in the open air, he recovered his health and
developed the unusual strength of voice that was to carry him through
almost 40 years of exceptionally strenuous preaching.
Martin entered full-time evangelistic work in 1900, and his ministry
soon became noted for its effectiveness in bringing conviction and
acceptance of Christ as personal Sa- viour. In the early 1900s, he
began to use large tents for his meetings, as most of the churches
could not accommodate the crowds. Soon invitations began to come from
all sections of the country. In order to fill the many requests that
came, he gathered around him a group of evangelists and musicians,
whose presentation of the way of salvation he knew to be clear and
sound. He personally scheduled these men, organized in teams,
throughout the country.
Active until the last few months of his life, he died May 23, 1939,
and was buried at Glouster, Mississippi. On his gravestone are the
dates of his birth and three Scripture texts, which were the core of
his ministry: John 3:16, Acts 16:31, and John 5:24.