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There were a lot of people who followed Jesus. But Jesus wanted to pick a few men to not just be followers, but to be messengers He could send out to do His Father’s Work.
So this was a really important decision. Who would be Jesus’ special messengers? How many would He have? Jesus needed to talk to His Father about it. He went up on a mountain to pray, and He talked to God the whole night.
In the morning, He called together the people who had been following Him and picked out 12. Not only would these 12 be His followers, disciples — they would be His Apostles, His messengers who He would send out to tell the whole world the Good News of God’s New Agreement, His New Plan to have a Family, a Body, a Bride for His Son!
Here are their names:
Simon, whom Jesus named Peter. Then there was Andrew, Peter’s brother. James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were also brothers. Jesus liked to call them the “Sons of Thunder.” Philip. Nathanael. Matthew, who used to be called Levi. Thomas. Another James, the son of Alphaeus. Simon, called “the Zealot.” Thaddaeus. And Judas, who later turned against Jesus and did a bad, evil thing.
These 12 men He picked to be very close to Him. He also wanted to send them all over the world to tell the Good News about His Kingdom.
Did you notice that Jesus only chose a few men? He could have chosen a lot of men, but the 12 special men He chose could all fit in one little fishing boat. And the men he chose were not particularly strong or smart. They made mistakes. They would sometimes be so silly as to fight and compare with each other. But Jesus would teach them. And He changed them from being men who didn’t know much, to men who would Change the whole world.
You see, these men would lay the foundation for God’s New City, for Zion. The REAL ZION!