Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 6:12-16

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Jesus Chooses Twelve Apostles - Luke 6:12-16

Jesus devoted himself to a night of prayer in preparation for choosing twelve disciples who would be named apostles (6:12). Just as Israel was organized around twelve tribes, Jesus was organizing a new covenant people around the gospel preached by these twelve men (see Matt. 19:28; John 4:22; Rev. 21:12-14). These men were from diverse backgrounds and social standings. Yet, they were unified by faith in Christ and would eventually lead his church (Eph. 2:20).

Luke 6:12

pray. Jesus had a life of humble dependence on God the Father's empowering presence through the Holy Spirit. This is partly seen in his constant habit of prayer (3:21; 4:42; 5:16; 9:18, 28; 11:1; 22:31-32). This was an example seen by his disciples (11:1) and should be imitated (18:1). all night in prayer. The time spent in prayer marks the importance of the decision and Jesus's next steps in ministry.

Luke 6:13

called . . . chose twelve. We have no idea how many disciples Jesus has following him at this time. Later, he will call out another group of seventy-two to be sent out (10:1). This indicates that the twelve were called out of a much larger group of followers (v. 17). From these, Jesus made a God directed choice (v. 12). Luke emphasized Jesus's authority in calling and choosing the twelve. named apostles. The term apostle means one who is sent. There is a sense in which all of Jesus's disciple are apostles (11:49; 24:10; John 20:21; Acts 14:14). However, this term is also used to mark out a unique group of Jesus's disciples. They were a group who had been following Jesus since the beginnings of his ministry (Acts 1:21-22). They were sent with authority to preach and heal, acting as Jesus's official representatives (9:1-6; Matt. 10:40; Mark 3:14).

Luke 6:14

Simon. Also named Peter by Jesus (Matt. 16:18; John 1:42). He always appears first in lists of disciples (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Acts 1:3), which indicates his leadership role as first among equals (Matt. 16:18). Andrew. Previously a fisherman, like his brother, Simon (5:2-9). He was from Bethsaida (John 1:44). James. . . John. The sons of Zebedee (5:10), also called the sons of thunder (Mark 3:17). Their mother, Salome, was Jesus's aunt, being Mary's sister (Matt. 27:56; Mark 15:40; John 19:25). This made James and John his cousins. They worked as fishermen with Simon and Andrew (5:10-11). John was known as the beloved disciple (John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). He wrote write the Gospel that bears his name, three letters (1, 2, 3 John), and Revelation. James was an early martyr for the faith (Acts 12:1-2). Philip. From Bethsaida, he brought Nathanael to Jesus (John 1:43-48). Bartholomew. Probably also called Nathanael (John 1:45). This would account for Bartholomew not being mentioned in John's Gospel and Nathanael's absence from the other Gospels. Moreover, Nathanael is elsewhere mentioned among the apostles (John 21:2).

Luke 6:15

Matthew. Also called Levi, he was a wealthy tax collector (5:27-29; Matt. 9:9-13). After following Jesus, he hosted a feast and invited other sinners to meet Jesus (5:29-32). Thomas. Also called Didymus (John 11:26; 20:24; 21:2) his name meant twin. James son of Alphaeus. Because Levi is also called the son of Alphaeus (Mark 2:14), this could be his brother. Simon. Being a Zealot meant that he had been part of a group dedicated to holy war against Rome. Ironically, this would make Simon deeply opposed to Matthew's work of collaborating with Rome. Nevertheless, the grace of Jesus brought these men together.

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