The Twelve Disciples
The first ministers were the twelve disciples. There is no evidence that Jesus chose them because they are brighter or nicer than other people. Their sole qualification seems to have been their initial willingness to rise to their feet when Jesus said, “Follow me.”
It is cheering to remember that Jesus Christ wandered this earth with no place to lay his head. “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air their nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” And when we consider our fly-by-night existence, our uncertainty, we remember (with pride in sharing the honor) that the disciples supped the seashore and wandered through cornfields picking the ears from the stalks wherewith to make their frugal meals.
Editorial in the first issue of The Catholic Worker, May 1993.
It’s hard to remember that Jesus did not come to make us safe, but rather to make us disciples, citizens of God’s new age, a kingdom of surprise.
Taken from Religion News Service, “Book Probes Post-Sept. 11 Spirituality”
Howard G. Hendricks
Every disciple needs three types of relationships in his life. He needs a ‘Paul’ who can mentor him and challenge him. He needs a ‘Barnabas’ who can come along side and encourage him. And he needs a ‘Timothy,’ someone that he can pour his life into.
John Lennon (For Contrast)
Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.
Paul E. Little
Every one of the disciples faced the test of torture, and all but the apostle John were martyred for their teachings and beliefs. People will die for what they believe to be true, though it may actually be false. They do not, however, die for what they know is a lie. If ever a person tells the truth, it is on his or her deathbed.
We need to remember that the first disciples were ordinary men called to an extraordinary mission. Their devotion to Jesus outweighed- by hair- their fears and insecurities. As a result God change them and use them to accomplish some mind-boggling things. Why couldn’t God – why wouldn’t God do the same in your life?
Rainer Maria Rilke
Amazed, bewildered, they are gathered around him, whose pondered resolution comes to rest, withdrawing him from all the ties that bound him–a stranger gliding by with thoughts unguessed. He feels that former loneliness drawn near in which the deep command was comprehended; again the olive slope shall be ascended, and those that love him shall depart in fear.
To the last meal of all they’ve been invited; and (as a shot will scare some new-alighted flock from the wheat) their feeding hands, affrighted from the detail portions by his prophecy, fly up to him and flutter in despair round the round table to escape. But he, like the still twilight hour, is everywhere.
An apostle (Greek apostolos) was a disciple who had been promoted; A disciple is a follower, but an apostle is a fully commissioned ambassador.
Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus Christ is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection. It was the resurrection which transformed Peter’s fear into courage and James’ doubt into faith…It was the resurrection which changed Saul the Pharisee into the Paul the apostle and turned his persecuting into preaching.
R.V. G. Tasker
The disciples are to be a moral disinfectant in a world where moral standards are low, constantly changing, or non-existent.
If I withhold mercy, I have lost touch with the gospel. I have lost touch with God’s undeserved kindness and pardon.
A disciple is a learner, a student, an apprentice – a practitioner… Disciples of Jesus are people who do not just profess certain views as their own but apply their growing understanding of life in the Kingdom of the Heavens to every aspect of their life on earth.