Teachers around the time when Jesus lived thought that learning was such that the people who wanted to learn should come to them to be taught. But Jesus felt differently and rather than waiting for people to come to him, he went out to find them and then chose them to be his followers. He called them disciples and this word means one who learns. But Jesus chose his disciples carefully as we are told in Mark 1:16-20 and also in Mark 3:13-19. In the first passage, Jesus appoints his first four disciples, Simon, Andrew, James and John. Jesus said to them “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17) In Mark 2:13-17, Jesus calls up the fifth disciple, Levi who was a tax collector, and Jesus later renamed him Matthew. But Levi was not called in the same way as the other four disciples. Jesus was with him at the tax collector’s booth and Jesus simply said, “Follow me” (Mark 2:14) and he rose and followed Jesus.
These five men responded immediately to Jesus and this is very surprising as he is a man who they have never met before. It is quite clear that this idea of discipleship for the first disciples is very important and that Jesus is planning on building his faith in them and he wants them to spread the word around to the people. (Mark 3:14)
Jesus appointed 12 disciples in total and this number was significant because each one represented one of the twelve tribes of Israel. (Mark 3:13-19) Jesus gave them the authority to cast out demons and preach to his people and they were known as his companions. It seems strange for him to choose those specific people as his twelve because he could have chosen from many of his disciples, but he chose a specific twelve to be his companions and apostles.
When Jesus chose his apostles, there were two unusual choices: Levi and Simon the Zealot. Levi was a strange choice because he was a tax collector who had managed to get more money out of people than they need pay and so many people hated him and many other tax collectors. Simon the Zealot was an unusual choice because he was a zealot and although they had a strong belief in God, they hated the Romans, and being ruled by foreigners.
In the mission of the twelve, Jesus calls them to him and sends them in two’s saying that they have the authority over evil spirits. (Mark 6: 7-13) Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave th...
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...o Pilate, JesusÆ main enemy, or trouble, was the Roman Empire. Their religion was polytheistic; they had, among many others, a god of war, (Mars), a god of wine, (Bacchus), and a goddess of love, (Venus). They also believed that their Emperor, at the time Caesar, was a living God. This included Jesus, one of his titles being "King of the Jews". At the time of JesusÆ death, this number was sizeable, and as the early church grew, after the resurrection, the followers grew in number too. Literally. All of the people who attended these secret meetings, to tell or listen to the tales of Jesus Christ, were disciples. They were risking their lives to spread the good news. Stephen was viciously stoned to death after his great speech at the Sanhedrin (Acts 7), and Peter was crucified. There are many examples of modern day disciples around. Oscar Romero was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of El Salvador. Endangering your own life by fighting oppression, injustice, and going up against bigger powers, or giving your life to helping others. There are still some people today who take the faith as seriously as the first Christians do, but not many. TodayÆs society is too materialistic.
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