Jesus Sent Twelve

Four Biblical Lists
Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:16-19, Luke 6:14-16 & Acts 1:13.
Within the apostleship, there were 3 sets of brothers. 1-Peter & Andrew, were sons of Jonah, Mk. 1:16, Jn. 1:42. 2-James & John, were sons of Zebedee. 3-Matthew & Thaddaeus (Simon the Zealot) & James, were sons of Alphaeus. The only safe assumption we can make from this, is that Jesus wanted his leaders to emphasize a love for family within the church, 1Pt. 3:8, 5:3, 2Pt. 1:7, Php. 1:8. Bartholomew in (Matthew, Mark, Luke and Acts) is called Nathaniel in John’s gospel. “Iscariot” has a vague meaning, it could mean a district in southern Judea, or it could be his fathers name. If it is a reference to southern Judea, then the betrayer is different in that all the rest are from Galilee in the north. Judas Iscariot was replaced by Matthias, Acts 1:26. James the son of Zebedee was martyred and replaced by Saul named Paul, Acts 12:2, 13:1-3,9. Simon the Cananaean was known as Simon the Zealot. The twelve apostles correspond to the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. Matthew 19:28, Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Revelation 21:14, The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Ephesians 2:20, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. This teaches us that they have eternal authority within the church.
Jesus prayed all night before making his apostolic appointments, Luke 6:12. We should follow Jesus’ example of using fervent prayer before we make decisions. Jesus gave them a model prayer and instructed them to be devoted to prayer, but they didn’t always place it as high a priority as God did, Mk. 14:37-40, however after the resurrection, prayer is always prioritised, Ac. 1:14, 2:42, Col. 4:2.
The number 12 is used in various ways to signify delegated divine power. The 12 parts of the Holy Spirit’s fruit describing the new creation He grows in each Christian. As well as the 12 fruits on the tree of life in Revelation 22:2. The leaves of this tree has power to heal pagans. The fruit of it gives life the saints thrive on. 1. Love. 2. Joy, 3. Peace, 4. Patience, 5. Goodness, Gal. 5:22-23, Eph. 5:9. 6. Faithfulness, 7. Kindness, 8. Gentleness, 9. Self-control, and 10. Holiness, Romans 6:22. 11. Righteousness, Ephesians 5:9, Hebrews 12:11, James 3:18, and 12. Truthfulness, Ephesians 5:9. No one can doubt that the apostles were all common Galilean sinners, but they also were great examples of spiritual maturity and power.

Jesus Abhors Apathy

Key Texts: Luke 7:18-35 & Matthew 11:1-24

The honest inquirers from John the Immersionist are not criticized, but rather served by Jesus in the performance of many miracles. This shows the value God places on fervent prayer for faith & wisdom in searching for truth in our life. James 1:5-6 & Mark 9:23-27. But after the honest messengers from John, leave with good news, then Jesus addresses evil in the worst sense.  When good people do nothing in the face of wickedness, sin itself grows worse.  It’s one thing to start a lie, it’s another thing to knowingly remain silent.  The first sin was Adam’s, in not stopping Eve from doing what he knew was bad for her, Gen. 3:6 & Rom. 5:12.  Yes there are degrees of sin, just as there are different levels of temperature to fire, here and in hell. Whatever the world exalts, the Lord finds nauseating, Mt. 11:20-24, Lk. 16:15, Rv. 3:16.

“THEIR GENERATION”  (Lk 7:24, 31) was complaining like children, and are not accepting John’s standard of living and rejecting Jesus’ standard of morals.  They felt John’s diet of locusts and honey was insane and proof of demonic possession. They felt that the fellowship of Jesus with tax collectors and sinners was proof that He was one of worst kind of sinners. But this passage shows that Jesus thought the men of his generation were rejecting the will of God. Why? Because they wouldn’t accept baptism! (Lk. 7:29-30) His generation ought to know better, but they didn’t care, nor did they see reality, they were living a pretence. Mat. 13:14-17. Does our generation care about the reality of our morals in comparison to God’s morals? How does our generation view baptism? Yet in the face of this blind apathy towards the morality and message of God, He still searches for people who want to worship Him in truth and spirit, Jn. 4:24. God in Jesus is so gracious & merciful!


WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED, v35.  &   GOD IS JUSTIFIED, v29. Solomon often talked about wisdom itself, as if it was a woman, Prv. 1:20-33 & 9:1-6. Jesus takes the same view, Mt. 11:19 & Lk 7:35 and gives her children! Christian disciples are fruit of God’s wisdom and in our heart we grow His fruit, Gal. 5:22-23, so that it’s passed on to others to become Christians. Therefore God is made to be seen as justified (made right in their eyes). Before people become Christians, they often see God as unfair and somehow ruling in an oppressive way, over the lives of people in the world. Worldly people seem to always regard God as uncaring, but in Christians, we regard God as love and try to share Him. So were the tax collectors receiving baptism, v29.

The WOES of Jesus, Mt. 11:20-24.  Woe is used to express how much a person deplores something, and Paul uses it to express divine wrath upon himself, see 1Cor. 9:15-18. What exactly did Jesus find so tragic? The apathy of Chorazin, Bethsaida, & Capernaum would cause worse divine wrath upon themselves, than what Sodom experienced, Gen. 19:24.  The cities Jesus quoted were all on or very near thelake of Galilee, with Capernaum being the largest and having the most recorded miracles within it. Bethsaida was very near where Jesus fed the 5000 and people from Chorazin must have seen miracles of Jesus on the lake, as it was on the shore. The calming of the storm must have had an enormous reaction. In March 1992 a storm on the lake caused 10ft waves causing damage to downtown Tiberius.  Today, all of them are just ruins, only Tiberias remains on the west coast of the lake, retaining it’s name which John used, Jn. 6:1 & Lk 5:1.  If Jesus came to your neighbourhood healing the sick and teaching the truth, what would the reaction be?

Jesus & The Widow’s Son

Key Text:  Luke 7:11-17

The first attempt, successfully raising the dead, but Why? –  Compassion for a widowed mother and the gift of a son to care for her. Since the beginning God has always wanted us to honor our parents and Paul stressed this to Timothy, (1st Timothy 5:4).  The Lord’s wondrous work of miracles does not spring from a distinct purpose of establishing his credentials as Messiah, but rather from his infinite sympathy with human suffering. Later at the end of Mark, we learn that God’s purpose in miracles was to confirm His words as from God, not necessarily proof of His nature or credentials, Mark 16:20.
Nain was a walled city having a gate, this record is the only mention of Nain, it is only Luke that records this resurrection. Perhaps the  reason why others don’t repeat the record of this resurrection is because they don’t want to detract attention from the resurrection of Jesus. The firstborn of the dead, Colossians 1:18.  Unique, in that His resurrection was self-instigated and performed by God’s Spirit innately. Acts 2:27.

One possible objection to this miracle is Jesus touching the open coffin in public. When he touched it, the men carrying it, stood still as if expecting a message, but they got much more. To touch a dead body, or the bone of man, or a grave, was forbidden by the law, Num. 19:16. According to the traditions of Jewish elders, the stone that was  rolled at the mouth of the tomb and the side of the grave could ceremonially defile a person by touching it. But there is no evidence that touching a closed coffin would defile a person. But this was an open coffin!  In Lk 8:54, Jesus touches a dead girl’s hand as if to wake her up.  It would be incongruous for Christ to be ceremonially unclean, when He was never in need to be performing any ceremony. He was both the sacrifice & ceremony!  One clear hint of this truth is shown in Jesus’ words as he touched the first leper he healed, Mt. 8:3, “I am willing, be cleansed”. His actions and intentions are pure and powerful, his disciples would understand this, but maybe not the public.  Whatever the public thought is unsure, but we do know his critics didn’t argue the point very vigorously, else Matthew would have surely noted it!

This might be likened to the point in which God’s Holy Spirit enjoins our body in removing our sin at baptism.  God can deal with death and sin, we can’t!  Remember he touched the Lepers and the Woman with the continual menstruation. WHO does the raising of the dead? God.  Who does the cleansing of sin? God.  Will we recognize this power today? Col. 2:12.  Do we believe Jesus can exercise that power on us? Jn 5:28 29, 12:47 48. 

In Lk 7:14, “I say to you get up”, to the Boy not the body, was inherent power.  The  dead body has no will of its own, its completely obedient, he didn’t say no, or  just lay there ignoring, but he immediately sat and spoke!   It took place before multitudes of mourners and disciples, it was witnessed as true.

The people’s ability to revere God in glorifying Him as a “Great Prophet” and God’s visitation to them was surely a reflection on the work of Elijah (1st Kg. 17:22) & Elisha (2nd Kg. 4:34) in raising the dead. This news spread from Galilee, all the way south to Judea. From this point on, Jesus couldn’t trust in private retirement, his every move would now be public!

We need to die to self and be completely obedient, believing He will  provide blessings and fulfill promises. The reason? We are saved to serve, as the young boy was, so are we. Our new life described in Rom. 6:3-14 frees us from the consequences of sin. True freedom is being able to do something about the onslaught of deceit in our life, Eph. 2:1-9. We are free to choose service for God or appeasement for self. The right choice is best summed up in Colossians 3:1-17.  The essence of our life is spiritual yet in a very physical world and body, but if we want life here, now and beyond the grave, we must spiritually die to self in order to obtain the gift of spiritual life from God, the author of it, see Rom. 6:2-13 & 1st Corinthians 15:35-38.

The Resurrection of Jesus

Many people can’t accept the bodily resurrection and deity of Jesus. Here are the main points in Scripture proving it true. Proof is simply evidence written by eye-witnesses which has never been disproved with contrary evidence. In order to prove the bodily resurrection of Jesus false, someone must present evidence against the eye-witness accounts in the New Testament. Today, there are theories abounding about alleged bones of Jesus being discovered in Jerusalem, but they are simply that, theories. However, non-Christian scholars refute the bones as even legitimate evidence, and conclude that they are anonymous bones. Let us consider what the New Testament says. Afterall, it is the most well authenticated ancient writing in the world. Here are five internally Biblical facts as logical evidence confirming the resurrection.

1. Buried in a Tomb!  From the event to present day, no one is on record historically to deny the tomb is empty, neither did anyone produce a body.  Jesus was placed in an identifiable tomb owned by Joseph of Arimathea with burial preparations and women watching as the body was placed in the tomb, when they returned with more preparations, they found it empty. The heavy stone covering was large, and was officially sealed by enemies of Jesus, providing a witness to the fact that the disciples could not have stolen the body.  The Temple guards of the tomb, faced the possibility of execution upon failure to carry out their duties. The only thing found in the tomb were grave clothes, tidily unmoved, yet stained with His precious blood, the redeeming price for the sin-sick souls of humanity. Jn. 19:31-20:10.

2. The Disciples of Jesus. Before his death, they proved to be cowards, but after the resurrection, James his own physical brother had a change of heart, Peter’s past denial turned into a proclamation, Thomas’s skepticism turned into confession and in all of them, the message of the resurrection brought upon them brave sacrifice and even martyrdom. They did not expect Jesus to rise! So why would they plan to steal the body, as falsely reported?  If the resurrected body of Jesus was a hallucination, they would need to have had an expectation to have seen it. They were brought to belief after the resurrection against their own past doubts. Jesus led them to face the truth, because of his undying love for us, Jn. 20:19-29. The change in Saul and the early Apostles is phenomenal.  1st Corinthians 15:1-17 & 2nd Corinthians 11:22-28

3. The Appearances of Jesus, are noted in over 15 occasions in varying times, places and by different people. Sometimes being in small groups or in a large crowd. People saw him, touched him and even ate with him. Eye-witnesses are the best proof for undeniable truth which can’t be proven false in the future. In order to logically disprove the bodily resurrection of Jesus, the unbeliever must produce some evidence contrary to these reports. Evidence which could out-weigh eye-witness records in the most authenticated historical document the world has ever known, the New Testament.  Paul claims the deity of Jesus rests on the undeniable resurrection of Jesus, Romans 1: 1-4.

4. Jesus claimed that he would rise from the dead, prior to his death. His disciples heard this publicly, but did not understand the reality of it, until after it happened and then recorded it. This act of self-prophecy by Jesus, would either make him out to be a liar, an idiot or God with us.  The fact of his own resurrection proves life goes on, as every human craves for it beyond the grave.  Jesus truly met & defeated our greatest fear, Jn.2:13-22. The Old Testament prophets predict the resurrection, Gen. 22:5-14, Psa. 49:15 & Hos. 13:14, showing fulfilment in Jn. 8:56. Jesus identified with theses prophecies before his death!

5. The Establishment of the Church verified by the New Testament was completed and recorded within the lifetime of people who could argue against it’s claims and provide the body of Jesus as evidence against their teachings, but it never happened. Yet the resurrected body of Jesus was central to the church’s message.  The new religion was so different, they forever revoked their holy day as the Saturday Sabbath to the Sunday “Lord’s Day” because of the resurrection. The church’s most public displays of faith are the Communion and Baptism, both of which focus their purpose on the death and bodily resurrection of Jesus.  Whenever the day arrives for the unbeliever to present evidence against the resurrection, the Church will dissolve. Until then, the burden of evidence rests on the unbeliever, not Christians. 

In all honesty, in view of the five facts above, can anyone dismiss the resurrection as a factual historical event today without sacrificing their own reason or logic?

Jesus Teaches on Joy

Key Text: Matthew 5:1-12 

Blessedness is a constant fact of daily life, not a consistent feeling every day. When Jesus was teaching to help people enter into being blessed, he was telling them how to obtain the position or location so that we can view happiness while we are in it. Happiness or blessedness is many different things to different people, but Jesus wants us to know that God has only one definition for joy, and it is the best.  John says that there is no greater joy, than to see your children walk in the truth (3Jn 4). Whether they are spiritual or physical children doesn’t matter. The greatest joy is to see your faith influencing someone else in the truth! When you experience that, you are beginning to get a taste of eternal joy in heaven on earth. 

Jesus uses eight different ways to help us focus on the fact of happiness, so that we can experience being blessed.

“Poor In Spirit”, being able to admit that we are individually spiritually bankrupt and destitute, and have nothing to offer God in and of our self. We are prideful, conceited, self-centered sinners, and when we humbly submit to God for a change, we are being ‘poor in spirit’. This leads to blessedness and should be a constant fact we are focused on! See James 4:7-10.

“Mourning”, being sincerely and sadly sorrowful for our sins and trespasses, to the point of expressing repentance in prayer, and where appropriate, even fasting in a way that confesses our sin This is spiritual mourning which leads to a blessedness in knowing your forgiven, loved and fully accepted by God. See 2nd Corinthians 7:10.

“Meekness”, being able to bring your human willpower under the control of God’s willpower. Christians who are able to submit what spiritual talents we have at our disposal to God’s service and not our own, will be blessed in enjoying physical things from God. See 1st Timothy 6:17.

“Desiring Righteousness”, being able to quench our spiritual thirst with God’s spiritual strength and fill our spiritual appetite for God’s truthful word, practiced in our daily life, is indeed a blessing. Psalm 34:8 & Romans 1:17

“Mercy”, being able to refrain from condemning or criticizing others, so that in return, God will not condemn our selves. This is truly helping our happiness when we realize we are not receiving the wrath of God our sins deserve. Colossians 3:12-13.

“Purity”, being able to see things from God’s perspective, is a clean view. Our happiness is dependent upon how and what our heart searches for. When our heart’s motive is absent of self, we can be pure in our intent. Our problem is that the human heart is inherently deceptive and incapable of maintaining purity all by our self, we need a constant diet of God’s word, love and wisdom, in order to be pure in heart, then we can see the world and our self as God sees. This is enjoyable! Acts 15:8-9 & 2nd Cor. 7:1 & 1st Peter 1:22.

“Making Peace”, being able to help someone else to befriend God is the heart of evangelism. The beginning of peace is the establishment of a rapport between enemies. Therefore a Christian tries to mediate between God and alien sinners, this is when we prove we are His children, because that was thrust of Christ’s ministry, to seek and save the lost. When we accept and fully realize that Jesus is our peace, he brings inner rejoicing in the friendship with God, Ephesians 2:14 & Galatians 6:1-5.

“Steadfast Suffering for Our Savior”, being able to prove to yourself that you are a genuine disciple is a big blessing, even when your proof is painful. James 1:2-4 & 1st Peter 4:12-18.