The 12 Disciples And The 12 Apostles

The twelve disciples are mentioned four times in the gospels. Matthew referred to them in the first verse of chapter 10 and again in the first verse of chapter 11. Mark wrote about them in verse 17 of chapter 20, while Luke mentioned them in Luke 9:1. Did Jesus have only twelve disciples? Some people think that’s the case, but Bible students understand this is not the case at all?

Jesus chose twelve men to be with him daily, to be close to him, to learn from him, and to help him in his ministry. These twelve are referred to as disciples but they were also called Apostles by Jesus (Luke 6:13). They were the twelve pillars of the new testament church, Jesus being the foundation. They are called Apostles in fifty-nine verses of the new testament, but four of those verses refer to them specifically as the twelve Apostles. According to Strong’s Concordance, an Apostle is an Ambassador, or a Delegate, a Special Messenger.

Although the Bible does refer to the twelve Apostles as the twelve disciples a few times, they were not the only disciples of Jesus. In the word of God, all of Christ’s followers were called disciples, not just twelve of them. He had thousands of disciples when he was here on earth and millions more since he went back to heaven. If you’ve been born again then you’re his disciple, as well.

We often say the word disciple means follower, but it actually has a deeper meaning than what we think of today when we hear the word. In the Greek language, it means learner or student. The true disciples of Jesus will spend time with him every day and learn from him through prayer and Bible study. Then they will practice what they learn and become more like Jesus every day. At least, that’s how should be.

James, the Lord’s brother, tells us to be doers of God’s word and not hearers only (James 1:22). He said we will be blessed if we follow God’s instructions. If we want to truly follow Jesus we must be doers and not just hearers. So let’s be students of Jesus. Let’s listen, and learn from him. Let’s read and study, and obey his word, and claim the blessings that come from being a disciple of the One who Created the universe.

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© 2017 Teddy Lynn – All Rights Reserved

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