christian life

Disciples Of Christ

The 12 apostles

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Technically there were 12 disciples of christ, but really they were apostles.  Disciple means student or pupil so really there are a whole lot of disciples. Apostle means messenger or teacher.  Christ sent the apostles out to spread the word.
But Jesus specifically named 12 disciples apostles. So when I refer to the disciples of christ I am referring to the 12 disciples that Jesus named as apostles.
Prominent christians in the bible such as Paul are often referred to as apostles of Christ, although he came after the death of Christ.  Ok clear as mud there. Good start.  These men were the cornerstone of the teachings of Christ.  Several of the disciples of christ were bible contributors. 
  God attached great importance in these men,  as evidence suggests in revelations 21:14, the twelve foundations of the wall of Jerusalem, will have in them the names of the 12 disciples of Christ. 
There are different ideas on how the apostles started following Jesus. But one of the probabilities is that he was friends with them and after he was baptized they started following him.
Through most accounts these men did not hesitate to give up their nets to follow and teach the word of God.  The men were fishermen who were treated unfairly.  They were in a contract where they had to give up their fresh fish in exchange for salted fish.
So not even being able to eat their own fresh fish, caused resentment.  They were looking for a leader to help them.  And wow did they find a leader. So here are the 12 disciples of Christ. 
 

12/ Thomas

The apostle Thomas is one of the most known apostles but with a different name.  He is oven referred to as Doubting Thomas. He got this name because when Jesus first rose  from the dead,  and appeared to the apostles he wasn’t there. So when some of the disciples of Christ told him that Christ had risen, he said he would not believe it until he saw Christ’s wounds with his own eyes.  Christ invited him to inspect his wounds.  Thomas was there,  when Christ appeared to the apostles for a second time.  He traveled with Jesus for 3 years and is said to have taken the gospel to the east.  Of course Thomas ended up abandoning Jesus at the crucifixion.  In response to Thomas’s doubts, Jesus proclaimed that those who believe in Christ as savior without seeing him are blessed. The famous saying by Jesus “I am the way, the truth, and the life” was quoted by Jesus when Thomas asked how will we know. He is often referred to as the patron saint of India.

st thomas church

 

11/ Simon

The apostle Simon also known as Simon the Zealot, is the least known memeber of the disciples of Christ. So sadly I don’t have much information on him. He was named Simon the Zealot to distinguish him from Simon Peter. He is only mentioned in 3 places in the Gospels. In acts 1:13 we see that he was one of the apostles present when Jesus ascends to heaven.  He spread the word through Egypt and was martyred in Persia. Of course he is one of the 11 apostles who denounced Jesus at his crucifixion. 
statue of simon

10/ Philip 

The apostle Philip Was one of the first apostles to follow Jesus and encouraged Nathanael to follow him as well.  We know that Philip was a Galilean, from the village of Bethsaida. He was there when Jesus  performed the miracle  of feeding the 5000 people.  We don’t know anything about him after the ascension of Christ but it is believed that he went to Phrygia to spread the word and was martyred in Hierapolis. Again he is one of the apostles that denounced Jesus at the crucifixion.  
statue of philip
 

9/ Matthew

Matthew is one of the most known disciples of Christ. He was a tax collector and was quite disliked by the jewish community.  Of course what tax collector is well liked. It is believed that he was quite dishonest in his work, but when Jesus said “follow me”,  he dropped everything and followed Jesus. He was actually called Levi until he became a disciple of Christ. It isn’t clear if Jesus named him or he gave himself the name. His attention to detail was quite beneficial when he wrote the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew was the most wealthy and important man of the disciples of Christ,  yet he immediately gave up all of this the minute he was asked to follow Jesus. He preached for years in Jerusalem after the death of Jesus and then went on to preach elsewhere in his later life. He gave a detailed account of the life of Jesus while he knew him, and it can be found in the Gospel Of Matthew. 
statue of matthew
 

8/ Jude

The apostle Jude also known as Thaddeus is also one of the least known of the disciples of Christ. Some people he wrote the book of Jude, which is a small epistle. He founded a church in Edessa and was martyred there. He was there for the ascension of Christ and as we know was another apostle that denounced Jesus during the crucifixion. 
saint thaddeus monastary

7/ Judas

Judas might be the most famous and well known disciple of Christ. Unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. He is the apostle that betrayed Jesus.  Some people despise him, others feel pity, and still others have empathy for him. We don’t know what we would do as individuals when we are in certain situations.  He was one of Christ’s original apostles.  Although originally he betrayed Jesus for money, he actually was full of remorse afterwards and returned the money. And then of course he committed suicide. Judas betrayed Jesus by kissing him, which let the Roman guards know who to arrest. Jesus was aware this would happen, and knew it had to happen to fulfill his destiny.   After his death he was replaced by Mathias.
disciples of jesus
 
 

6/ James The Lesser

Well what is to say about James. We know pretty much nothing about him. We know he is one of the disciples of Christ. We know he was there in the room with the other apostles when Christ ascended into heaven. We know that he denounced Jesus during his crucifixion. He was from Galilee and was the brother of Jude. He spread the word in Palestine and Egypt and was crucified in Egypt. 
statue of saint james the lesser
 
 

5/ Nathanael

Also known as Bartholomew  he was introduced to Jesus by the apostle Philip. When Jesus first met Nathanael he declared him a true Israelite, in whom nothing is false.  Nathanael soon after stated that Jesus is the son of God. The Armenian church proclaims him as their founder and as a martyr. Below is his monastery. 
Monastary of apostle nathanael
 

4/ Andrew

The apostle Andrew was a follower of John, but soon left John to follow Jesus. Of course this didn’t bother John for his mission was to get people to follow Jesus.  His brother was Simon Peter and he led his brother to Jesus.  Andrew is the apostle that brought the boy with the bread and fish to Jesus and he then performed the miracle. Below is the Amalfi Cathedral in Italy that is dedicated to Saint Andrew. 
amalfi cathedral

 

3/ John

 The apostle John is not the same person as John the baptist.  He became a follower of Jesus after John the baptist, baptized Jesus.  John  was considered a favorite of Jesus.  He nicknamed John one of the sons of thunder. He wrote 5 books for the new testament. He was part of the inner circle of Jesus along with Peter and James.  He is the one apostle who did not denounce Jesus at the crucifixion. He is said to have lived longer than any other apostle and died of natural causes. Below is the Basilica of Saint John where John is believed to have been buried. 
basilica of saint john
 

2/ James 

   James the apostle, also known as James the greater, to distinguish himself from the other apostle named james, was a member of Christ’s inner circle.  He was present for three miracles as he spent a lot of time with Jesus. He was the first disciple of Christ to be martyred,  killed by King Herod.  Below is the cathedral basilica Poland of Saint James.
cathedral of saint james
 

1/ Peter

The apostle Peter is one of the most recognized disciple of Christ. He was the first bishop of Rome. He was part of the inner circle of Jesus and was there for the three miracles that Jesus performed in front of the apostles. He wrote two books for the new testament. He is often referred to as the leader of the apostles and their spokesperson. He was executed by the Romans. He requested to be crucified with his head down. Sadly he to denounced Jesus  before the crucifixion.  Below is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. 
st peters basilica
 

 

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