The Lord Chooses Twelve Apostles
Gradually, the number of disciples of Jesus Christ increased. One day, while in Galilee, Jesus Christ went out into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. When it was daylight, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them whom He named apostles, that is, messengers, as He sent them to preach His teaching. The names of the twelve apostles are as follows:
- Simon, whom the Saviour called Peter;
- Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, known as the "First-called;"
- James, the son of Zebedee;
- John, the son of Zebedee, brother of James, called the Theologian (these two brothers, James and John, the Saviour called "sons of thunder" because of their fiery zeal);
- Nathaniel, son of Tolmai, and, therefore, called Bartholomew;
- Thomas, also called Didymus, which means "the twin;"
- Matthew, also known as Levi, a former tax collector;
- James, son of Alphaeus, also known as Cleophas, called "the less, or younger, or smaller," in contrast to James the son of Zebedee;
- Simon, named the Canaanite, otherwise known as the Zealot;
- Judas, son of James, who also bore another name, Lebbaeus, called Thaddeus;
- Judas Iscariot (from the city of Karioth), who later betrayed Jesus Christ.
To the apostles the Lord gave power to heal the sick, to cast out unclean spirits, and to resurrect the dead.
In addition to these twelve chief apostles, Jesus Christ also chose others: Mark, Luke, Cleophas and others. He also sent them out to preach.
When the seventy apostles returned from preaching, they said with joy to Jesus Christ, Lord, "Even the devils are subject unto us through Thy name" (Luke 10:17).
He said to them, "Do not rejoice that the spirits are subject unto you but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven" (Luke 10:20). That is, do not rejoice over the miracles, which are given to you for your preaching, but rejoice over the fact that you will receive blessings and eternal life with God in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Besides the disciples, there constantly accompanied Jesus Christ some women who had been healed by Him, Mary Magdalene (from the city of Magdala) of whom Jesus cast seven devils out; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward; Susanna; and many others.
Note: See the Gospels of Matthew 10:2-14; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16; 8,1-3.