The Book of Luke, The Choosing of the Apostles – Lesson 70
Luke 6:12-19, And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. 17And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; 18And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. 19And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
These events described here in Luke 6 are events which seem to immediately follow the Sabbath controversies that we studied in past weeks.
They also immediately precede the time when our Lord will address the disciples and the multitude of people in what is called the Sermon on the Mount.
But before his selection of the Apostles and the giving of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus went up to the mountain to pray and we are told he prayed through the night.
Luke’s gospel has an emphasis on the prayer life of our Lord, some examples of which we have already seen.
The Lord Jesus was said in Luke 3:21, to be praying when the Holy Spirit descended upon Him.
Our Lord went off to pray after the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law and the healing session which resulted afterwards (4:42, compare Mark 1:35).
Later, we find in Luke 5:16 that he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
We are not told what Jesus prayed for in the all night prayer vigil on the mountain but because of what took place following this night of prayer I think we can assume that among other things it certainly concerned the important selection of the Apostles.
Not only prayer concerning his selection of Apostles but it surely included prayer for power to heal the sick which would take placed in a great way the next day.
And no doubt it included the important message that he was to give which we know of as the Sermon on the Mount.
And from what he had just come though concerning the events having to do with his activities on the Sabbath I think he probably prayed for the Pharisees and scribes for he includes in his sermon the command of:
Luke 6:28, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.
The Lord Jesus Christ perfectly practiced what he preached and in spite of the hatred and rage of the Pharisees and scribes no doubt he prayed for them.
We have seen and we will continue to see that the enemies of Jesus Christ are increasing and it is becoming clear that they will only be satisfied by his death.
But important events were at hand, the choosing of the 12, great times of healing, and his important sermon concerning the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
The Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not a conservative kingdom, it is not a liberal kingdom, but it is a righteous kingdom.
Now up to this point in Jesus’ ministry he had gathered to himself a company of disciples without distinction as to rank or standing.
They were simply disciples but after His all-night prayer vigil, Jesus called this larger group of “disciples” to Him, and from this larger company of disciples He chose twelve, designating them as His apostles.
Luke 6:13, And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
These were to be the small band of witnesses that through their testimony would continue the important task of proclaiming the Gospel.
These twelve men from this point on were to spend much time with Jesus and would have the benefit of personal instruction and knowledge that other disciples would not be given.
Even within this band there were men who would receive instruction that the others would not receive.
But these 12 were to be sent out in preaching and healing campaigns.
They were to be apostles.
As we are told the 12 apostles were selected from a larger group of people called disciples.
A disciple is a pupil, a learner, a follower, an adherent.
Between a disciple and his Master there should be a close personal fellowship.
From this larger group of followers or disciples Jesus selected 12 whom he designated as Apostles.
Because the men selected were in many cases introduced to us earlier in the book we may think that they were Apostles from the first day they were called.
That is not so.
Peter, James and John, were disciples among many other disciples until this day when they were set apart and chosen to be Apostles along with nine others.
Jesus prayed all night before his selection of these 12 as Apostles for Jesus always did the Father’s will and the selection of these 12 was in the Father’s will.
An apostle is a person who had been sent, a person who has been commissioned for a particular purpose.
An apostle is an ambassador sent by another.
Jesus Christ saw himself as a sent one of the father and now he appoints these 12 as sent ones also.
In John 20:21, he refers to these apostles and says: …….. Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
So an Apostle represents his Sender and is clothed with authority derived from the Sender.
We have people in the military who are commissioned officers.
They are sent; they are clothed with authority derived from their Sender, the people of this nation through their President.
It is interesting that a commissioned officer is literally clothed in uniforms which indicate the authority that is invested in him.
He or she is sent for a particular purpose with sufficient authority to carry out that purpose.
These 12 men, now set apart from all of the other disciples, are now apostles and endowed by God with authority.
The Apostles then were to stand out from other disciples in the authority that they were given.
and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;14Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.
We can be sure that the selection of the Apostles by Jesus Christ was in accordance with the will of the father, even including the selection of Judas Iscariot.
There are indications in scripture that these disciples were not as yet saved at the time of this appointment.
We know for a fact that Judas was never saved and that the actions of many of these Apostles were faithless until certain later times in the ministry of Jesus Christ.