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Faithlife

Are you part of the 12?

Church Growth  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus Christ’s chosen companions, whom he called and trained to carry on his mission after his death and resurrection.

Notes & Transcripts
The calling of the Twelve
Acts 6:1–15 The Message
During this time, as the disciples were increasing in numbers by leaps and bounds, hard feelings developed among the Greek-speaking believers—“Hellenists”—toward the Hebrew-speaking believers because their widows were being discriminated against in the daily food lines. So the Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task. Meanwhile, we’ll stick to our assigned tasks of prayer and speaking God’s Word.” The congregation thought this was a great idea. They went ahead and chose— Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolas, a convert from Antioch. Then they presented them to the apostles. Praying, the apostles laid on hands and commissioned them for their task. The Word of God prospered. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased dramatically. Not least, a great many priests submitted themselves to the faith. Stephen, brimming with God’s grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them. But then some men from the meeting place whose membership was made up of freed slaves, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and some others from Cilicia and Asia, went up against him trying to argue him down. But they were no match for his wisdom and spirit when he spoke. So in secret they bribed men to lie: “We heard him cursing Moses and God.” That stirred up the people, the religious leaders, and religion scholars. They grabbed Stephen and took him before the High Council. They put forward their bribed witnesses to testify: “This man talks nonstop against this Holy Place and God’s Law. We even heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth would tear this place down and throw out all the customs Moses gave us.” As all those who sat on the High Council looked at Stephen, they found they couldn’t take their eyes off him—his face was like the face of an angel!

Their names

Matthew 10:1–4 The Message
The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. This is the list of the twelve he sent: Simon (they called him Peter, or “Rock”), Andrew, his brother, James, Zebedee’s son, John, his brother, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, the tax man, James, son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon, the Canaanite, Judas Iscariot (who later turned on him).
See also ;

Their selection was preceded by prayer

Luke 6:12–13 The Message
At about that same time he climbed a mountain to pray. He was there all night in prayer before God. The next day he summoned his disciples; from them he selected twelve he designated as apostles:

As Jesus Christ’s companions, they were to share in his mission

; ;

Jesus Christ promised them authority at the final judgment

Matthew 19:28 The Message
Jesus replied, “Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel.

After Judas’ death the Twelve became the Eleven

; ; ; ;

The Eleven became the Twelve again with the election of Matthias

Acts 1:26 The Message
They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.

The ministry of the Twelve after the resurrection supplemented by the appointment of deacons

Acts 6:2–3 The Message
So the Twelve called a meeting of the disciples. They said, “It wouldn’t be right for us to abandon our responsibilities for preaching and teaching the Word of God to help with the care of the poor. So, friends, choose seven men from among you whom everyone trusts, men full of the Holy Spirit and good sense, and we’ll assign them this task.

The symbolic significance of the Twelve

The twelve tribes of Israel

; ; Twelve symbolises completeness and is associated with the rule of God.
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