Jesus’ ministry lasted three years. During that time, He preached the Gospel, healed the sick, and performed miracles, while teaching His ways to the many followers he assembled. The disciples of Christ are the many men and women who continued to spread the Gospel after the Lord Jesus Christ left the earth. Jesus called twelve of them His “Apostles.” Let us learn who were the twelve Apostles as described in the New Testament, and what it means to be an Apostle of Jesus.
“Apostolos” is a Greek word, meaning “one who is sent off, messenger, ambassador.” The Apostles of Jesus were messengers of Jesus, sent to represent Him and preach the Gospel. The difference between an Apostle and a disciple of God is that Apostles were sent to preach the Gospel in regions which were not aware of the existence of Christ, while disciples are encouraged to preach it everywhere. An Apostle is a disciple of Jesus who has the hard responsibility to bring the Gospel to foreign lands, where their inhabitants have never heard of it.
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” (Luke 6: 12-16)
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness” (Titus 1: 1)
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.” (John 17: 6)
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” (John 17: 18-19)
“Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt.” (Mark 6: 7-9)