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10 AMAZING Facts about the APOSTLES

Whilst Jesus Christ was on earth he chose 12 men to be his personal disciples. They followed him, learned from him and were trained by him. Despite being in the very presence of Christ our Lord they were but mere ordinary men whom God would later use in an extraordinary manner. After witnessing Jesus’s resurrection and ascension into heaven the Holy Spirit guided the Apostles into spreading the gospel which turned the world upside down. Here are 10 amazing facts about these apostles you probably didn’t know.

1) Two of the Apostles Were Brothers to Jesus Christ

The Apostle Jude sometimes called Judah or Thaddeus and the Apostle James known as the son of Alphaeus were brothers. Their mother was Mary who also was the same Mary the mother of Jesus Christ. This indicates that Joseph the adoptive father of Christ must have died and Mary was remarried to Alphaeus. In the Bible there is no such thing as a half-brother or half-sister they were simply brothers to Christ. Even despite this in Jude’s opening statement from his gospel he merely refers to himself as the servant of Jesus Christ. This is a great example of the humbleness and humility that all Christians should have.

2) All the Apostles Died Violent Deaths

There are many reports, myths and legends to the eventual fate of each Apostle. However one thing is clear they all suffered greatly for their faith and this led to violent ends. For example Peter and Paul were both executed in Rome roughly around 66 AD during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Whilst Paul was beheaded, Peter was crucified upside down at his request since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his God. John was the only one of the original disciples not to die a violent death. Instead he passed away peacefully in Patmos in his old age sometime around a 100 AD. This is also where he wrote the Book of Revelations

3) John's Gospel was Written Last

John’s book is very different from the other three. John seems to have already read the other Gospels before he wrote his own book. Often instead of telling his version of an event or a parable the others have already written about he instead writes about things the other writers did not include. About 90% of his material is unique and only found in his Gospel, it was as though he was filling in any missing gaps that the other apostles missed. Also John’s Gospel includes the testimony of John the Baptist it seems likely that he had some of the writings of John the Baptist.

4) Luke and Paul Never Met Christ

Although Luke wrote one of the four Gospels he was not one of the original twelve apostles. He did not know Christ personally and most likely he got his information by interviewing various witnesses. His description of Jesus’s birth for example he probably got from Mary the mother of Christ herself. Paul originally persecuted Christians yet he wrote the majority of the New Testament and is widely considered to be the second most influential person in the history of Christianity. He traveled all around Europe, wrote many letters to Christian communities and even testified of the Gospel before the Emperor of Rome.

5) There were More Than 12 Disciples

Whilst the Twelve Apostles are certainly the most famous of Christ’s disciples. It is evident that
Christ had many many more followers throughout his ministry. For example in Luke 10 Jesus sends seventy disciples to prepare the way for him. Paul mentions that over five hundred people saw Christ after his resurrection. We also know there were many female followers of Christ, for example the Apostle Mark his mother was a prominent follower of Jesus Christ. There are likely many more women as well as men who aren’t mentioned.

6) The Apostles Knew of Jesus Before His Ministry

When the 3 Magi sought out the Christ child, word began to spread all around Judea that the Messiah had been born. We learn in John 1 that even some of the Sammaritans were expecting the Messiah. In Luke 24:25 we learn that Christ even at a young age would teach to large crowds. In Luke 14 to 15 we learned that news of Christ were spreading all around the countryside. So by the time Christ encounters Peter as he’s fishing it’s no surprise that Peter already refers to him as master or rather teacher. A clear sign of respect and that Peter already knew him.

7) Paul was the Replacement for Judas Iscariot

After Judas hanged himself the 12 Apostles had been reduced to 11. The question was who would replace Judas? The Apostles took it upon themselves to nominate someone for the spot and to this they cast lots between two candidates and Matthias won. Although they prayed and although they had good intentions the Apostles were taking it upon their own initiative to nominate two men as candidates. A lot had to fall on one or the other, but neither of them was not an option they considered. As Christ told the Apostles you have not chosen me, I have chosen you. As from Matthias nothing ever became of his ministry, none of his writings appeared in the Bible and you never hear of him again. Christ had revealed his own selection in Paul of Tarsus. This reflects the actual will of God and it shows when the devices of men are not aligned with his will nothing will ever become of them. Paul went on to become the most influential figure besides Jesus in the beginning of Christianty.

8) Some Apostles were Married

When you picture the Apostles traveling to spread the good news of the gospel you may picture a lone wanderer unattached from family and loved ones. However we know for sure that Peter had a wife since Jesus cured his mother-in-law. We also know that Peter was accompanied by Mark and Paul was accompanied by Luke as well as various others. We also learned that Philip the Evangelist had four daughters. So despite what we see in modern churches today where Priests live celibate lives the Apostles certainly were not necessarily unmarried and childless. For their travels they very likely had revenues that could have included their own wives.

9) Peter, James and John were Part of the 'Inner Circle'

There are 3 occasions in the Gospel where Jesus takes these 3 particular Apostles aside from the rest. Firstly in Matthew 5 at the raising of Jairus’ daughter from death, Jesus had only the 3 accompany him as he restored her to life. Secondly Matthew 17 the famous event at the mountaintop where he was transfigured and shined forth brighter than the Sun. Where we have Moses and Elijah long gone from the world reappearing and discussing matters with Jesus. Lastly the night just before his crucifixion he has the 3 accompany him as he went to a secluded spot to pray. All 3 teach us lessons. The first showed us Christ’s power over death and that like the girl we will all be raised on the great day. The second showed that Jesus is the true and only begotten Son of God in other words God in the flesh the Messiah who was to come and was prophesized all throughout the Old Testament. Thirdly this showed that like Christ we all have a destiny a mission in life if you will and we must follow the Father’s will. If Christ willingly gave his life for us so too must we dedicate our whole lives to our fellow brothers.

10) Judas Iscariot was an Edomite

The name itself Isacriot actually means “A man from Cariot”. It’s a Greek translation of the Hebrew word Ish-Kerioth. Now Kerioth, was one of the cities Joshua conquered and it was an Edomite City. All the other disciples were from Galilee and were Israelites. It’s no surprise then in John’s Gospel we learned that Judas was the money holder of the Apostles and that he used to steal from the purse and when Mary anointed Jesus with an expensive perfume Judas objected as he claimed he wanted to sell the perfume for the poor. But in reality he was only interested in the money for himself Judas is also the only disciple that Christ refers to as a devil. So what did Jesus mean? Well Esau married into the Hittites and if you understand the origin of the Hittites that being both from the Kenites i.e. children of Cain who along with Cain and the Rephaim are all descendants of the Fallen Angels. You begin to understand it was in his genetics. This may also give you a hint to the true reason Judas betrayed Christ.
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