"And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth
unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should
be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal
sicknesses, and to cast out devils: And Simon he surnamed Peter; And James the son of
Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons
of thunder: And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James
the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, And Judas Iscariot, which
also betrayed him: and they went into an house." (Mark 3:13-19).
When I was still a teenager I said to the Lord, "oh that I
might have lived during the time when You were on the earth, follow You and walk with
You". But when I received the Holy Spirit I was satisfied and realised that I am even
better off than the disciples of Jesus.
It is no small thing to be numbered among the apostles of the
Lord. It's a very high position. It also goes together with the promise that there are
twelve thrones in heaven reserved for them. Peter was one of them, as well as Judas
The word Peter (petros) is a stone while the word for rock is
petra, like the rock of Gibraltar.
To James and John, Jesus gave the name of Boarnerges, meaning sons
of thunder. Why? It seems that it was because of their spiritual lives. If we read what
John wrote, we see that he shook things through what he wrote. If he lived today he
would've been condemned by most Christians.
"8 He who sins is of the devil, for the
devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that
He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for
His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does
not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother."
Do you hear the thunder? Today's generation would not have been
able to bear them, but condemned them and even killed them.
So we can go through the names of the apostles and note each one's
characteristic. The one mentioned last is Judas Iscariot. He was the treasurer, and would
receive the money people gave them. He had a very responsible position but he was
unfaithful and stole of the money. God said that if you're unfaithful in financial
matters, He cannot bestow on you the true heavenly riches.
So if you're unfaithful with money your eldest brother is Judas
Iscariot and your end will be like his unless you repent.
So even though he had that wonderful promise that there was a
throne prepared for him in heaven, he lost out on that because of his unfaithfulness.
Judas did eventually admit that he made a mistake but he went to
the wrong people to confess his sin. He went to the priests who murdered Jesus. He even
brought the money back saying, "I have betrayed innocent blood". But they
couldn't help him.
Don't go for help to those who cannot help you. He should have
gone to his fellow disciples, telling them that he has sinned and had been stealing all
along. Peter could have shared his testimony with him that when his eyes met with the eyes
of the Lord he realised the depth of his sin and the Lord forgave him.
As a counsellor you must be sensitive to the Lord that you are not
one of the blind leading the blind. If you as a doctor cannot help a patient you send him
to the specialist to be helped. So too as a counsellor you should be worried when someone
comes back to you with the same problem again and again and you should call in the help of
We read that Jesus prayed through the night before He chose the
twelve. Apostle means "send one", and He was in earnest as to whom should be
chosen. When he came down from the mountain the multitudes met Him, but He chose the
twelve by name. It wasn't just open for whoever wants to come. When Judas Iscariot forsook
them and died, the apostles came together and prayed that God would lead them as they
chose another one in his place, "one who was with them all the time from the
beginning". Jesus said the harvest is ready and great but the workers are few. We
need to pray that God would raise up and send forth workers.
Why did Jesus choose twelve apostles? The New Testament is a
continuation of the Old. The Old Testament was a shadow of what was to come. Jesus did not
come to do away with the Old Testament, but rather to fulfill the Old Testament.
So Jesus called the twelve to Him from the crowd and they all
responded, left everything and came to Him. Why did He choose these men specifically?
Because they were intelligent, or respected, or they had faith, or were powerful, or had
many gifts and talents? No. He called them because they obeyed Him. When He called them
they didn't argue but obeyed.
Are you obedient, or are you stubborn and stiff-necked against
Jesus said not everyone who says to Me "Lord Lord" will
enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only the one who does the will of the Father in Heaven.
God also give the gifts of the Holy Spirit to each one as He
wills. You cannot demand which ones you want. He gives according to His will.
Even when all the twelve were together He chose Peter, James and
John separate from the others from time to time. It was according to His will.
We might say that they were privileged to be chosen. Yes, they
were privileged, but the Bible says that before the foundations of the world were laid He
had chosen and appointed you. Often we read of the prophets that He chose them already
from their mother's womb.
But it goes even further than that, that even before the
foundations of the earth were laid, He knew you and has called you by name and has chosen
you. God has chosen His Church before the foundations of the earth were laid. Do you live
accordingly from morning till sunset and from sunset to sunrise? Woe to you if you just
live like the other people of this world.
How can you preach to others to repent if you haven't repented
yourself and turned from your sin. If you want them to hear God's voice you must hear His