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He Appointed Twelve

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Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.  He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.  These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Our society is undoubtedly egalitarian.  By that, I mean that we exalt the concept of equality in all matters of life.  We would not think of discriminating on the basis of race or culture, gender or age, sexual orientation or marital status…  Well, at least in matters mandated by law we would not discriminate against others.  Egalitarianism as practised at the dawning of this Twenty-first Century is the logical result of modern democratic principles.  Perhaps it is because of this indoctrination we have each received that the concept of God’s sovereignty is so difficult to accept.

Whenever the preacher speaks of God’s sovereign choice, there is a an almost visceral reaction in many listeners.  In our hearts we struggle against such concepts, believing there is something good within us which might compel God to refuse to discriminate.  In one sense, God does not show favouritism.  We are alike sinners before God.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God [Romans 3:23].  In a similar manner, we are equally convinced that the Living God has demonstrated mercy toward all mankind.  God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all [Romans 11:32].  We are compelled to accept that God is unbiased in dealing with us as sinners and in extending mercy to all who will receive it.

However, when God has called people to faith and they have been born into the Family of God, we convince ourselves that He should no longer exercise His sovereign will.  Entire denominations are founded on the concept that all believers must receive the identical spiritual gift or they are forever consigned to a second-class spiritual status. 

Among almost all evangelical churches is a democratic bias which insists that any believer is capable of functioning within leadership roles.  Our churches annually elect deacons and elders to leadership within our churches with scarcely more than a casual acknowledgement that God must appoint and equip such individuals.  We trust that the willingness of these men and women to lead is sufficient equipping for leadership.  Thus, our churches are willingly led by the reluctant who acquiesce to the congregation’s insistence that they must direct our work.  In acting thusly, we devalue the work of God which we know as the church, reducing it to a mere organisation undifferentiated from other social organisations which vie for our time and attention.

A study of the Apostles whom Jesus chose may well prove instructive for us, challenging us to reflect on the call of God.  Especially will we be compelled to consider His sovereign nature as we study the selection of the Apostles.  Mark’s Gospel serves as the backdrop for our study, and I invite you to open your Bible to the third chapter of this the second Gospel of the New Testament.  Join me in study of Jesus’ appointment of The Twelve who would henceforth be known as His Apostles.

The Basis of His Choosing — Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.  During the course of this message, I hope to draw attention to three truths.  First, Jesus called those He wanted and He appointed from among those He called.  Second, He appointed on the basis of His own choosing with the purpose that those appointed might be with Him, and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority over demonic powers.  Third, I ask you to take special note of the distinctions within the apostolic rank and the cost of serving the Master.

That first truth which I ask you to specially note is that Jesus chose.  The text says that He called … those He wanted.  This translation, while accurate, fails to bring out the emphasis of the original language.  Because this is true, it is easy to miss the impact of Mark’s words, the English obscuring to a degree Mark’s intent.  Dr. Kenneth Wuest translated this verse so as to bring out the nuance of Mark’s choice of words.

And He goes up into the mountain and calls for himself and to himself those whom He himself was desiring, and they went off to Him.[1]

Jesus called to him those he wanted.  Within this statement is a wealth of theology.  Mark’s words speak of God’s sovereign choice in calling to Himself whom He wills.  There is nothing within the text to suggest that Jesus called only the Twelve to join Him on the mountainside, rather in concert with the other synoptic Gospels we would rightly conclude that many disciples came before the Lord at this time.

Note especially Doctor Luke’s account of the appointment process for the Apostles.  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 [Luke 6:12, 13].  Jesus called many to Himself as disciples, though He reserved the right to appoint the twelve to Himself.  The initial focus of Mark’s words is on the choosing of disciples.  This is nothing less than God’s election of those whom He wills to come to Him.  We are given insight into God’s process of calling mankind to salvation.

The word Mark chose to speak of Jesus’ will [qevlw] provides us with insight into the work of God in calling people to Himself.  There is another word [bouvlomai] which may also speak of the will, but it means something entirely different.  The former word suggests an active option resulting from a subjective impulse.  The latter word suggests passive acquiescence, the decision of the mind which is the result of objective considerations.[2]  This latter word would suggest that Jesus chose on the basis of facts resident within the ones chosen, whereas the word Mark used suggests that the choice Jesus exercised was based upon His own self-determining sovereignty—upon reason from within His own personality.

Jesus was not influenced by appeal from those before Him.  Neither did He consider the abilities of those He called, holding instead His own particular purposes in mind.  Perhaps those chosen protested that they had no ability to accomplish what the Master was calling them to, but their protests would be of no effect.  God calls those He wills and His calling is based upon His own purposes known only to Him.  We should not be surprised that no protest will alter the mind of God.

In calling those whom He willed, Jesus assumed all responsibility for His action.  He called those He wished and from within that number He appointed twelve.  This is the fact presented in this account.  His choice arose from within His infinite wisdom and understanding.  Those called had not requested to be called, therefore there was no room for protests of inability.  Jesus assumed responsibility.

The need for stressing this point lies in the fact that each of us who serve Christ as redeemed saints has received a call.  Having responded to that call, we were gifted by the Holy Spirit.  Though there are many fine Christians who pray importunately for particular spiritual gifts, God chooses whom He will appoint to particular offices within the church.  Listen again to the Word of God.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines

[1 Corinthians 12:4-7].

Two vital truths flow from this knowledge.  First, if Christ chooses, I am free from all responsibility.  He chose me and therefore He is responsible to supply the ability to accomplish what He appointed me to do.  Second, since Christ chooses I have received a grave responsibility.  This is not tautology, but it is rather a serious exploration of the work of God in each of our lives.

If there are defects in those whom Christ has chosen, He must correct them.  Thus, those chosen for a particular service are free from responsibility for the choosing.  We need not concern ourselves with the elective process, resting in God’s call and effective work in our lives.  We can readily engage in the work He has given us because we are able to say, “Lord, You have given me this work.  I did not choose it.”  We should be humbled at the thought that we did not choose Christ, but that rather He chose us.

Near the end of His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke to His Apostles in pointed language which we will each do well to listen to in this context.  The statement of Christ which is vital is that which teaches us, You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last [John 15:16].  It will be immediately apparent from the context that He addressed all who call themselves by His Name.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.  This is my command: Love each other [John 15:9-17].

Nevertheless, the call of the Saviour brought the disciples, and especially those who would be appointed as apostles, to a place of definite and real responsibility.  The call of Christ is to confidence in the wisdom of His choice.  These twelve would later need that confidence as they passed through trials and testing.  The call of Christ also was a call to obedience to His commands.  Those chosen would be required to yield to His power.  In the same way, you, having been called to life in Christ and having received His Spirit, are called to confidence in the wisdom of His choice and to obedience to His commands.  You are required to yield to His power.

When we are brutally honest in our assessment of the apostles, we would not likely consider them to have been successful in their work as described in the Gospels.  They were failures!  What a strange mix of people were the twelve!  Throughout Jesus’ ministry with them they misunderstood Him and misinterpreted His will.  Peter, after being told that his confession is the rock on which the Church would be built, is spoken of as the tempter and said to be an offence to the Master, not having in mind the things of God, but rather the things of man [contrast Matthew 16:17, 18 with Matthew 16:23].

John and James are rebuked twice, once for their spirit of revenge [Luke 9:54-56] and once for their short-sighted ambition [Mark 10:35-40].  Judas’ treachery is predicted [John 6:70, 71].  All are warned that they will fail at the hour of greatest decision [Matthew 26:31].  It is unlikely that such a prediction would be conceived after the event.  Jesus deliberately chose as apostolic material men from which it would be concluded that it was impossible to build a great organisation.  Only one aspect changes this negative assessment and that is that He would provide the power, and He would continue to provide the power, by which that organisation would stand.

I do not deny that God uses our native abilities, but I am cautious in even suggesting that our native abilities are of great use to God outside His sovereign choice.  Perhaps you have musical ability, but your ability is only a source of entertainment until it has been energised by the power of God to bring conviction as men and women hear the music produced.  Perhaps you have a natural empathy, but that empathy can accomplish only so much until it is energised by the power of God.  Perhaps you are able to speak with a degree of eloquence, but your rhetorical abilities are for naught until your words are energised by the power of the Spirit.

The Lord chose those whom He willed, knowing their power and knowing His power.  He called those best suited to doing the work He had, and He enabled them to fulfil His will.  In the same way, God has appointed you to do the work for which you are best suited within His church and He works together with you to ensure that His will is fulfilled.  This is the reason Paul will claim that we are fellow workers together with God [see 1 Corinthians 3:9; 2 Corinthians 6:1].

Two aspects related to sovereign choice are calling and responding.  Christ called, and those called responded.  The evidence of His call is seen in the fact that men respond.  You who have been called need to respond, for we must not hesitate to serve.  We cannot elect ourselves, but we must respond to His call and to His choice.  Young men called to serve in the preaching ministry need to respond now that they may give full service to Him who calls.  Young women called to serve as He directs need to respond now lest time is wasted and opportunity for productive service passes.  The Master is responsible for the call, but you are responsible to obey and you are responsible to appropriate His power.  All who call themselves by His Name need to serve as He directs.  Amen.

The Training of Those Chosen — He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.  How many were called?  We conclude that Jesus called many more than twelve, but He appointed twelve.  From the great body of the church, Christ will appoint whom He wills to lead and direct His people.  No man appoints Himself to this service, but Christ appoints as He wills.  The appointment of the twelve was for two great purposes; that they might be with Him, and that He might send them out.  They would spend time with Him, and then they would go away to extend His work.

As I survey the churches of this day, I am compelled by honesty to state a rather sad state of affairs.  Many professed Christians claim to have been called and appointed to spend time in the presence of the Saviour; but it seems that few ever progress to going out.  The appointment process is expected to culminate in being sent out.  Remember this ultimate end as we explore the training of those whom Christ has chosen.

When we are appointed to our tasks, we are called to spend time in Christ’s presence.  This call to be with Him is initial, preparatory, fundamental, necessary.  Those whom Christ will send out must first spend time in His presence.  The twelve were appointed in some manner to spend time near to the Saviour.  They were to observe Him, studying His method of dealing with men and learning how the Kingdom should operate.

As you read the Gospels, you discover that from this time in His ministry, Jesus increasingly withdrew from the large crowds in order to spend greater periods of time in private with the apostles.  They were to expect an intimate nearness to Him.  He devoted Himself increasingly to them during this period of training and preparation.

Many Christians seem to spend more time in being with Jesus (if that is what happens in our plethora of church meetings and fellowships, committees and services), and much less time in proclaiming and casting out demons.[3]  The emphasis in our seminaries seems to be on pastoral care for the church community.  I admit that such training is necessary, but I do see in the account before us that the purpose of the training and time with Jesus has as its goal sending out.  The training which is being pressed upon seminarians seems to produce a church which is increasingly introspective and less missionary.  Our perception of the Gospel is progressively narrowed as we adapt it to our perceived needs.  Consequently, we are unprepared to advance against the forces of darkness and we are ill equipped to stand against those who neither wish to hear our message nor be freed from their bondage to the powers of darkness.

I suppose that I would not feel so constrained to mention this point if I thought that the studies of seminarians actually brought them into intimacy with the Master.  However, having taught for a brief period in a pastoral educational institution, I noted with distress that prayer and reading of the Word, the disciplines of godly men and women, were pushed to the sidelines due to the heavy time demands placed on the students.  Few graduates know how to pray, and fewer still know how to find the Master.

If in the process of learning to read the Word we fail to hear the clarion voice of the Master, we have deceived ourselves and failed in preparing for going out.  Consequently, even should we venture forth, risking all for the sake of the Gospel, we advance in our own strength and all together too soon discover that we are powerless against the dark powers arrayed against the Faith.

Jesus called the twelve to be with Him—to be His steady and consistent companions.  The twelve were to identify their lives with His life and live with Him all the time, regardless of what the crowds might do.  The apostles would also be sent out.  They were to be His representatives telling others about Him.  They themselves had been called in order to call others.

In going out, the apostles were appointed to preach and to exercise authority over the demonic powers.  In this, the relationship of the twelve with Jesus, with mankind and with the underworld of evil is revealed.  Their relationship to Jesus was that He appointed them as His apostles.  Originally, the word apostle means those who are set apart.  With time, it has come to mean those who are sent out.  Wherever the twelve went, whatever they did, and whatever they said, they were Jesus’ apostles.  They were set apart to Him and in the power of that setting apart they were sent out.

Jesus gave the apostles a message.  They were to be His heralds.  No one has the right to be a teacher unless he has a teaching of his own to offer, or unless he has the teaching of another that with all the passion of his heart he wishes to propagate.  Men will always listen to a man with a message.  The word used to describe the apostles’ preaching speaks of public authority for those with the message.  The word always suggests formality, gravity, authority which must be listened to and obeyed.  Jesus sent this strange mixture of men, so lacking in strength and wisdom, to preach His message.

The twelve were imbued with a message.  Too many preachers today have a sermon, but they haven’t a message.  They preach something like “repent (after a fashion) and believe (in a measure) or be damned (such as it were).”  The message which Christ gave to His disciples demanded a passionate proclamation.  These designated as apostles went out and preached that people should repent [Mark 6:12].  I note that whenever Jesus preached, He seems to have cried out [cf. John 7:28; 12:44].  I have no doubt that when the twelve proclaimed their message they were every bit as passionate as was the Master.  Certainly, Peter, as he spoke of the Day of Pentecost, raised his voice [see Acts 2:14, nasv].

Second, Jesus gave these men authority.  They were to cast out demons.  Because they had companied with Him, something of His power was on their lives.  Note, however, that they had authority and not power.  The power was His, but He conferred authority on them.  The twelve had authority to speak in His Name, so that His power might set men at liberty and demonstrate His mastery over the dark underworld.

Donald English suggests that we are too prone to apply the command to drive out demons individually.  He suggests that even an observation of world history shows the reality of the demonic in groups and institutions, in systems and hierarchies.[4]  Appealing to Paul’s letters would lead one to such a conclusion [see Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15].  Such a concept helps understand the relentless pressure of evil in the world, and it does explain how groups of humans can behave as destructively towards others as they sometimes do.

This view imposes responsibility on us as Christians to confront the world of institutions and structures calling for freedom from injustice, cruelty and neglect, and demanding freedom from extortion, corruption and greed.  We are challenged by such a view to avoid the profit at all costs concept.  This view cautions Christians from uniting with government to accomplish the work of the kingdom.

The Cost of His Choosing — These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.  There was a cost to Christ to choose these twelve.  There was also a cost for those chosen.

Christianity began with a group.  The Christian faith is something which from the beginning had to be discovered and lived out in a fellowship.  The whole essence of the way of the Pharisees was that it separated men from their fellows.  The very name Pharisee means the separated one.  The essence of Christianity is that it bound men to their fellows and presented them with the task of living with each other and for each other.[5]

Christianity began with a very mixed group.  In the Faith, two extremes met.  Matthew was a tax collector and, therefore, an outcast; he was a renegade and a traitor to his own country.  Simon the Zealot was one of a fiery, violent nationalistic band who were pledged even to murder and assassinate those opposed to them in order to rid their nation of foreign domination.  When this man lost to patriotism and the fanatical patriot came together for the first time, what do you suppose they spoke of?  Christianity began with the most diverse people compelled to live together as brothers and sisters.

This list of Jesus’ Apostles begins with Peter who denied Jesus and ends with Judas who betrayed Him.  Such a list makes it abundantly clear that this was not a collection of the immediately perfect.  Discipleship, like apostleship, is also a long, hard road of temptation and trial.  There is a beautiful insight which I obtained in my studies.  The word which speaks of our Lord’s appointment is poetic and beautiful with the poetry of Greece.  Paul writes in the Ephesian letter, we are God’s workmanship [Ephesians 2:10].  That is the same root word which is translated here as He appointed [poievw].  Referring to Paul’s letter, we could say we are God’s poem, and be well within the rules of language.  The work of Christ is always a thing of beauty and value.  The appointment of the twelve was infinitely more than merely official.  That appointment was enabling.  His appointment is His workmanship.

This is the secret of strength in Christ’s appointment.  He appointed the twelve to be with Him, and because He appointed them to be with Him, they must be fitted for the fellowship.  Because He appointed them to service, they must be strengthened, difficult as it would be.

Peter would state to the Master, We have left everything to follow you [Mark 10:28]!  In this, he spoke the truth.  Have you ever noticed how demanding the Faith is? 

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to turn

“a man against his father,

a daughter against her mother,

a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—

a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.”

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me [Matthew 10:34-38].

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels [Luke 9:23-26].

No one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God [Luke 9:62].

These are hard sayings which leave no room for softness in the Christian Faith.  This is a demanding Faith, which demands the best of each of us.

Permit me a moment to observe the cost to these Apostles.  According to church tradition, each of the apostles was persecuted because of the Faith.  All, save John, died because of their faith.  All, save Judas the traitor, remained faithful to death.

Simon, whom Jesus gave the surname Peter, was crucified with his head downward.  Tradition has it that he did not consider himself worthy of dying the same death as His Master, and he was granted his request to be crucified upside down.

James, son of Zebedee and his brother John (who were surnamed Boanerges) were likewise persecuted for the Faith.  James was beheaded in Jerusalem and John was exiled to Patmos where he died of natural causes.

Andrew, brother of Simon, was crucified on an X-shaped cross, from which he preached until he died.  His death was said to have occurred in Greece.

Philip was also crucified in Syria.

Bartholomew, also known as Nathaniel, was said to have been flayed alive in India.

Matthew, also known as Levi, was said to have suffered martyrdom by being slain with an axe in Ethiopia.

Thomas was reported to have been lanced by idolatrous priests in the East Indies.

James, son of Alphaeus, was beaten to death in Jerusalem.

Thaddaeus (Judas Lebbaeus) was said to have been shot to death with arrows.

Simon the Zealot was reported to have been crucified in Britannia.

Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, was said to have been stoned and then beheaded in Jerusalem.

Of the evangelists, Mark is supposed to have died in Alexandria after being dragged through the streets.  Luke was hanged from an olive tree in the land of Greece.

Paul was beheaded in Rome under Nero.  His companion, Barnabas, was said to have been stoned to death in Salonica.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.  Remember the words I spoke to you:  “No servant is greater than his master.”  If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.  If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.  They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin.  Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.  He who hates me hates my Father as well.  If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin.  But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.  But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law: “They hated me without reason” [John 15:18-25].

The words of the Risen Son of God to the persecuted church in Smyrna yet apply to us in this day.  These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.  I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!  I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.  Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.  I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days.  Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life [Revelation 2:8-10].

The same Lord still chooses and appoints.  We must be chosen or we can never serve acceptably.  I cannot choose to be a missionary or a minister of Christ.  I must be chosen.  His choices are right choices, and His calling is vindication.  If He has called you, you know it.  If He has called you, He has chosen you.

I wonder why He called me.  Nevertheless, I know that He did call me, and in that knowledge is my peace.  I am confident that He has not called me without enabling me to accomplish that for which He called me.  Just so, I am confident that if He is calling you He will supply all that is required for you to fulfil His calling.

This leads me to a solemn inquiry.  Has God ceased choosing men and women to be disciples?  If the number of people responding to the appeals of this preacher is indicative, I might conclude that He has ceased choosing disciples.  Perhaps He has chosen you and you have yet to respond?  Perhaps you have been so busy listening to the voices of the world and time and personal advantage that you have confused the voice of God.  Dare you permit yourself to listen to listen and discover whether the voice of God is perhaps calling you?

Has God ceased calling young men to ministry among His churches?  If the surrender to such service witnessed through response to the appeal of the pulpits of churches throughout our land is any indication, God no longer calls men to holy orders.  Have we no godly youth who will prepare for a life of service, whether here in our beloved Canada or in some far off land where God has need of such a one?  I wonder if you parents have offered your children to God to employ as He wills?  Have you actually offered your child as a servant to God for His work?

If Christ is calling you, know that He makes no mistake.  He is responsible for your call and He will deal with every difficulty.  Our God delights to take what the world considers foolish in order to shame the wise.  He chooses that which is weak to shame the strong.  He has chosen the lowly things of this world and the despised things—the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, and this so that no one may boast before Him [see 1 Corinthians 1:28, 29].


The word Mark chose to speak of Jesus’ will [qevlw] provides us with insight into the work of God in calling people to Himself.  There is another word [bouvlomai] which may also speak of the will, but it means something entirely different.  The former word suggests an active option resulting from a subjective impulse.  The latter word suggests passive acquiescence, the decision of the mind which is the result of objective considerations.  This latter word would suggest that Jesus chose on the basis of facts resident within the ones chosen, whereas the word Mark used suggests that the choice Jesus exercised was based upon His own self-determining sovereignty—upon reason from within His own personality.

Simon, whom Jesus gave the surname Peter, was crucified with his head downward.  Tradition has it that he did not consider himself worthy of dying the same death as His Master, and he was granted his request to be crucified upside down.

James, son of Zebedee and his brother John (who were surnamed Boanerges) were likewise persecuted for the Faith.  James was beheaded in Jerusalem and John was exiled to Patmos where he died of natural causes.

Andrew, brother of Simon, was crucified on an X-shaped cross, from which he preached until he died.  His death was said to have occurred in Greece.

Philip was also crucified in Syria.

Bartholomew, also known as Nathaniel, was said to have been flayed alive in India.

Matthew, also known as Levi, was said to have suffered martyrdom by being slain with an axe in Ethiopia.

Thomas was reported to have been lanced by idolatrous priests in the East Indies.

James, son of Alphaeus, was beaten to death in Jerusalem.

Thaddaeus (Judas Lebbaeus) was said to have been shot to death with arrows.

Simon the Zealot was reported to have been crucified in Britannia.

Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot, was said to have been stoned and then beheaded in Jerusalem.

Of the evangelists, Mark is supposed to have died in Alexandria after being dragged through the streets.  Luke was hanged from an olive tree in the land of Greece.

Paul was beheaded in Rome under Nero.  His companion, Barnabas, was said to have been stoned to death in Salonica.


----

[1] Kenneth S. Wuest, The New Testament: An Expanded Translation (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids MI 1961) pg. 85

[2] G. Campbell Morgan, The Gospel According to Mark (Revell, Old Tappan, NJ 1927) pg. 66

[3] Donald English, The Message of Mark (InterVarsity, Downers Grove, IL 1992) pg. 85

[4] Donald English, op cit., pg. 85

[5] William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Mark (Westminster, Philadelphia, PA 1975) pp. 73-74

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