Whatever Happened to the Twelve Apostles?
The apostles were not the type of people you would have anticipated Jesus to choose to accompany him on his journey to spread the gospel throughout the world. There was nothing particularly noteworthy or noteworthy about them. The twelve apostles were basically regular guys who went to work every day. However, Jesus transformed them into the foundation of the church and entrusted them with the most amazing mission imaginable: summoning the whole world, including the mightiest empire the world had ever known, to repentance and faith in the resurrected Christ.
Despite popular belief, only two apostles are mentioned in the New Testament: Judas, who betrayed Jesus before going outside and hanging himself, and James the son of Zebedee, who was murdered by Herod in 44 AD.
Take a look at how each of the apostles went out into the world to service and evangelize, and how many of them died as a result of their beliefs.
How Did the Apostles Die?
Even though there are numerous reports and tales, and even though they are not always credible, it is reasonable to conclude that the apostles traveled far and wide as messengers of the gospel of the resurrected Christ. According to an early version, they cast lots and divided the world in order to choose who would travel where so that everyone might learn of Jesus’s birth. They suffered immensely as a result of their religion, and in the majority of cases, they died violent deaths as a result of their courageous witness.
Peter and Paul
Both were martyred in Rome in the year 66 AD, during Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians. Paul was executed by beheading. Peter requested that he be crucified upside down because he did not believe he was worthy of dying in the same manner as his Lord.
Emperor Nero persecuted them both and they were both martyred in Rome in the year 66 AD. In this case, Paul was executed via beheading. As a result of Peter’s refusal to die in the same manner as his Lord, he was crucified upside down at the direction of the authorities.
Both were martyred in Rome in the year 66 AD, during Emperor Nero’s persecution. Paul was slain by a beheading. Peter requested that he be crucified upside down because he did not believe he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
Both were martyred in Rome about the year 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter asked to be crucified upside down because he did not believe he was worthy of dying in the same manner as his Lord.
The tax collector and author of a Gospel traveled to Persia and Ethiopia to minister to the people.
Some of the earliest records claim that he was not martyred, while others claim that he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia, according to the sources.
He is credited with extensive missionary journeys, including trips to India with Thomas, back to Armenia, as well as Ethiopia and Southern Arabia, according to legend. As a martyr for the gospel, he met his end in a variety of ways, according to different versions.
The son of Alpheus is one of at least three Jameses who are mentioned in the New Testament, according to scholars. There is considerable disagreement as to which James is which, but this James is thought to have served as a pastor in Syria, according to tradition. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, he was stoned to death before being clubbed to death.
Simon the Zealot
At least three Jameses are mentioned in the New Testament, all of whom are sons of Alpheus. The identities of the two Jameses are a little murky, but this James is believed to have served as a missionary in Syrian territory. His death was believed by the Jewish historian Josephus to have been caused by stoning and clubbing.
The apostle who was picked to take Judas’ place. Tradition has it that he will accompany Andrew to Syria and be burned to death.
In lieu of Judas, this apostle was appointed. Tradition has it that he will travel to Syria with Andrew and be burned to death.
Influence of the Apostles Today
The names of Jesus’ apostles have risen to the top of the list of the most popular male given names in the Western world. I’m curious how many people you know who have names such as John or Pete or Tom or Andy or Jim, or Bart or Phil. At least four of the apostles were fishermen, according to tradition. Is it possible that this was one of the reasons why the fish was one of the oldest and most renowned Christian symbols? The Greek word for fish, ichthus, was used to create an acrostic, which is Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter, which literally translates as “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” in English.
Despite this, the faith grew like wildfire, despite the fact that Christianity had been branded an illegal religion by the government.
What Happened To The 12 Disciples? — Faith on Hill Church
Our church heard about Jesus selecting 12 young men from among his disciples to preach about the arrival of the Kingdom of God on a recent Sunday morning. They were Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder” in Greek), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. (Mark 3:16-19, New International Version) Following Jesus’ ascension into paradise (Acts 1).
This is a contentious issue because the Scriptures provide no clue as to whether or not God desired them to do so, and many believe that the apostle Paul is God’s evident substitute for Judas, which is a subject of contention.
God has called each and every one of us to the task he has for us, and there is no one more important, more holy, or more loved in God’s kingdom than anyone else in God’s kingdom.
All of them suffered severely as a result of their proclamation of Jesus as Lord, and their story continues to have a significant impact on our faith today.
Due to the intrusion of politics into men’s traditions, we have traditions that James, the brother of John, went to Spain, when the Bible clearly states that he was the first of the 12 apostles to be martyred (killed) for his faith in Jesus, when he was put to the sword in the early days of the church in Jerusalem, as the Bible clearly states.
- There are a variety of unsubstantiated stories surrounding his death, the most notable of which being that he was crucified upside down because he did not feel himself worthy of dying in the same manner as Jesus.
- In Jerusalem, King Herod ordered him to be assassinated by the sword (Acts 12).
- JOHN John is the author of the Gospel of John, the book of Revelation, and three epistles that bear his name.
- Tradition has it that he spent the latter years of his life ministering in the area around Ephesus in modern-day Turkey, and that he is buried there.
- Later, he journeyed to modern-day Turkey and Greece, where he was killed for his beliefs.
- In accordance with tradition, a Roman Proconsul was so angry by the fact that his wife had converted to Christianity as a result of Philip’s preaching that he ordered Philip’s violent execution.
- If this is the case, it is likely that Philip’s tomb has lately been located (read aboutHERE).
According to other tales, he traveled to India with Thomas, then to Armenia before making his way via the trade routes that connect Ethiopia with the southern Arabian states.
His given name is “Nathaniel” in some records, which might have been a family name or a nickname that he was known by in the congregation.
While some accounts do not mention how he died, others claim that he was stabbed to death in Africa, according to certain sources.
This other name is less difficult to identify and is most likely a family or tribe identity name.
While Thomas first questioned the resurrection, his confidence in the risen Jesus was powerful enough to propel him eastward through Syria and Iraq, where he finally ended himself in India, where the Marthoma Christian tradition believes him to be the founder of their religion.
JAMES THE SON OF ALPHAUESThought to be the brother of Matthew/Levi, James is thought to have preached in the northern parts of Israel.
He is also referred to as James the Younger (younger brother of Levi?) or James the Lesser (younger brother of Levi?) (which would have had different connotations then it does for us today).
I already stated that politics is intertwined with the traditions surrounding the apostles.
As a result, churches in locations like Turkey, Greece, Rome, and Jerusalem naturally possessed greater authority and influence than churches in places like Britain, France, Africa, and Spain, among other things.
Despite the fact that James was martyred in Acts 12, a Spanish bishop began to propagate the concept that James had traveled to Spain in the 12th century.
It appears that Simon was sawn in half in Persia, according to the prevailing opinion.
Some have attempted to link him to the Philip who appears later in the book of Acts, but the circumstantial evidence does not appear to support this other than the fact that they have the same name.
JUDAS THADEUS is a fictional character created by author Judas Thideus.
His gospel message is said to have been spread over the region now known as Northern Syria, Iraq, and Turkey according to tradition.
MATHISTRAdition holds that Matthias journeyed north, maybe all the way to and including the Caspian Sea.
PAUL Paul endured great hardship for the sake of the Lord throughout his life.
Once upon a time, I was stoned.
“Once I was stranded at sea for an entire night and a whole day.” Paul was killed at Rome in 66 AD, presumably at the same time as Peter, according to historical records.
This is significant since every single one of Jesus’ disciples died.
John passed away due to old age.
He was not the only one who betrayed Jesus; all of the other disciples deserted him, and Peter even went so far as to claim he had never heard of him.
But they all accepted God’s mercy and forgiveness, which was also extended to Judas.
If you’ve read this and have ever felt like Judas, believing that there is no hope, you should know that each and every apostle felt the same way at one time in their lives, but unlike Judas, they turned their gaze to Jesus and accepted his gracious offer of salvation.
You can take advantage of the same opportunity. Please keep in mind that this post has been changed from an earlier version to contain current information.
Apostles After the Death of Jesus
Photographs courtesy of.Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images The 12 apostles, also known as the 12 disciples, were the closest followers of Jesus Christ and made their influence on the history of Christianity. After betraying Jesus, one of the twelve apostles famously committed suicide by hanging himself. However, according to Christian tradition, the other apostles continued to spread the gospel after Christ’s death, albeit with a lack of the unity and strength that they had during Christ’s physical life.
Andrew, like the majority of the apostles, died as a martyr, according to a document written by the theologian Hippolytus of Rome. Around the year 70, this papyrus relates the story of Andrew being hung from an olive tree in Patrae, Achaia. Andrew is reported to have proclaimed the gospel of Christ to the Thracians and Scythians just before he was killed in battle. According to manuscripts collated by the Christian Classics Ethereal Library, some traditions describe his crucifixion as being performed in the spread-eagle posture.
Several centuries after his death, according to the theologian Hippolytus of Rome, Andrew died as a martyr along with the rest of the apostles. A hanging from an olive tree at Patrae, Achaia, about the year 70 is described in this book regarding Andrew’s death. Andrew is reported to have proclaimed the gospel of Christ to the Thracians and Scythians just before he was killed in a battle. The Christian Classics Ethereal Library has collated writings from many sources that describe his crucifixion as being performed in the spread-eagle stance.
3James, Son of Alphaeus
According to Acts 12:2, the apostle James, son of Alphaeus, was killed by Herod Agrippa’s sword around 45 A.D., according to the Bible. According to the historian Eusebius’ “Church History,” James’ executioner was so moved by the apostle’s unshakable faith that he publicly declared his own belief in the resurrection of Christ and was executed with James.
4James, Son of Zebedee
After Christ’s death, James, the son of Zebedee, was appointed to lead the Christian church in Jerusalem. Christianity’s historians say James was assassinated in 63 A.D. by three men who demanded that he deny the legitimacy of Christ’s resurrection. In response to his defiance, he was hurled from the spire of his temple.
Because of his beliefs, even though John the Baptist was the only apostle who did not suffer martyrdom, the Roman Emperor Domitian, or maybe Nero, banished him to the island of Patmos. Revelation is said to have been written by John between the years 95 and 100 before his death from natural causes, according to tradition.
The Roman Emperor Domitian or maybe Nero deported John to the island of Patmos for his religion, despite the fact that he was the only apostle who was not slain. Revelation is said to have been written by John between the years 95 and 100 before his death from natural causes, according to legend.
Galatians 1:13 depicts Paul as a nonbeliever, but the resurrection of Christ caused him to be persuaded to believe in Christ. With his reputation as the disciple who succeeded Judas Iscariot, Paul – who is credited with writing more than half of the books of the New Testament – finally earned his place as one of the most important apostles in Christian history.
Paul was beaten throughout his life while he preached Christianity, and he was eventually killed by the Roman Emperor Nero in the year 67 A.D.
According to the gospels, Christ came to Peter a few days after his crucifixion and death. This event appears to mark Peter’s transformation from a fiery follower to a powerful leader who, according to the Acts of the Apostles, displays miraculous signs and preaches with fervor. Non-biblical writings and traditions generally indicate that Jesus was crucified on an upside-down crucifixion in Rome between 64 and 67 A.D., according to the most recent evidence. When Constantine became the first Christian Emperor of Rome, he thought that Peter was buried on the Vatican Hill, and bones discovered in a 1939 archaeological dig may provide evidence to substantiate this view.
According to the gospels, Christ came to Peter a few days after his crucifixion and was recognized. This event appears to mark Peter’s transformation from a fiery follower to a powerful leader who, according to the Acts of the Apostles, displays miraculous signs and preaches with fervor. It is generally agreed that Jesus was crucified on an upside-down crucifixion at Rome between 64 and 67 A.D., according to nonbiblical writings and traditions. Constantine, the first Christian ruler of Rome, thought Peter was buried on the Vatican Hill, and bones discovered in a 1939 archaeological dig may provide evidence to substantiate this view.
Christian historians think Simon was one of the apostles who traveled the most, proclaiming the gospel in places as diverse as Egypt, Libya, and Persia before dying at the hands of a Syrian ruler in 74 A.D., according to Christian tradition. Simon is said to have died as a martyr, along with his companions.
Historically, Christian historians consider Simon to have been one of the apostles who had traveled the most extensively, teaching the gospel through lands as diverse as Egypt, Libya, and Persia before dying at the hands of a Syrian ruler in the year 74 A.D. Simon is considered to have died as a martyr, along with his colleagues.
Christian historians say Simon was one of the apostles who traveled the most, proclaiming the gospel in places as diverse as Egypt, Libya, and Persia before dying at the hands of a Syrian ruler in 74 A.D. Simon, like his companions, is believed to have died as a martyr.
What happened to the 12 disciples after the resurrection and ascension?
Christian historians think Simon was one of the most well-traveled of the apostles, spreading the gospel through lands as diverse as Egypt, Libya, and Persia until meeting his death at the hands of a Syrian ruler in 74 A.D. Simon is said to have died as a martyr, along with his colleagues.
Carrying On After Jesus Is ‘Gone’
When it comes to people who follow a liturgical church calendar, Pentecost is often considered to be the climax of the Easter season. In Acts 2, the Holy Spirit descended on the small group of believers who were gathered together praying in the Upper Room with a dazzling display of power. In one day, three thousand individuals came to believe in Jesus as a result of the disturbance that attracted the attention of the community. However, even while Pentecost marks the culmination of the previous 50 days in the Christian calendar, Ascension Sunday offers us with an opportunity for essential contemplation, without which Pentecost would be a bit of a waste of time.
- When the disciples had their last face-to-face discussion with Jesus, it was recorded in the first chapter of Acts.
- These same disciples did not comprehend the significance of Jesus’ impending death and resurrection until after the crucifixion.
- The fact that these same disciples want a bit more clarification regarding the next steps following Jesus’ resurrection makes reasonable, doesn’t it?
- However, in Acts 1, Jesus did not go into depth about what he was talking about.
The Great Commission
Then Jesus appeared to them and declared, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” As a result, go and make disciples of all countries, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and instructing them to follow everything I have instructed you to do in the first place. And without a doubt, I will be with you constantly, till the end of the era.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB) With this key commission, Jesus urged them to “go and make disciples” all throughout the world.
- Their purpose was to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to the furthest reaches of the globe.
- And we continue to regard it as our mission to this day.
- Approximately 0.03 percent of the Earth’s livable land had been reached by the good news of his ascension by the time of his ascension.
- He nonetheless left this misfit band of tax collectors and fishermen, who scattered when they were afraid and were unable to identify for themselves the most fundamental features of the good news of Jesus, to evangelize the remaining 99.97 percent of the inhabitable globe.
The First Sending
The Great Commission, as described in Matthew 28 and reiterated in Acts 1:8, is not God’s first commission to his children. Instead, it is God’s second commission to his children. When Jesus offered his final commission to his followers before ascending into heaven, he was referring to the very first commission or mandate God gave to mankind. God congratulated them and told them to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the world, and conquer it.” (Genesis 1:28) “You have authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every thing that crawls on the surface of the land.” Genesis 1:28 (KJV) In Genesis 1, God effectively charged Adam and Eve with the responsibility of carrying out what he had just completed at the beginning of time.
- Going out into the freshly formed world as his image bearers and replicating what he had done, like self-similar, smaller fractal pictures expressing the creativity and character of the One True God throughout creation, was a noble vocation for them.
- Adam and Eve sinned and were expelled from the Garden before we were able to see the completion of their magnificent purpose.
- Aside from God’s proclamation of One coming who would destroy Satan in Genesis 3:15, it appeared as though the dignity of the calling in Genesis 1 and 2 had faded away completely.
- The death and resurrection of Jesus, though Satan snatched at the heals of Jesus, had in actuality struck Satan a knockout punch to the head with his death and resurrection.
- Redemption was and continues to be on the horizon.
- To put it another way, Jesus continued, “This message you just watched me preach in Jerusalem, Galilee, and Bethany?
After the Fall of Man, Jesus’ death and resurrection completed the redemption of the lofty vocation to bear God’s image out into the world, which had been lost as a result of that Fall. Then Jesus ascended to the throne of God.
How long did the disciples remain still, looking up into the sky after Jesus? After hearing Jesus’ enigmatic response in Acts 1:7 to their query about when the kingdom will come—”It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has established by his own authority”—I’m sure they were perplexed as to what they were supposed to do next. Jesus had expected these disciples to carry the gospel to the rest of the world despite the fact that they had been completely spiritually reliant on him during his earthly ministry.
- How could they possible complete the tremendous task that he had entrusted them with on their own time?
- What a powerful time of sanctifying faith for this tiny group of believers to experience!
- However, Jesus had already departed, and no advocate had yet shown.
- No one had failed more terribly than Peter in his attempts to succeed.
- In the Upper Room, following Jesus’ ascension but before to the arrival of the Holy Spirit, Peter led the band of disciples in steadfast faith as they waited and prayed for the arrival of the Holy Spirit.
- It also draws attention to the noble job to which they and us have been called.
- And then Jesus ascended to the throne of glory, presumably abandoning us to achieve something seemingly impossible.
When our ministry circumstances don’t line up with what we believe God is doing to advance his kingdom, we, too, may find ourselves looking up at the sky, perplexed as to what is going on in God’s grand scheme of things.
As well as being engaged in the things we know how to accomplish, we may model the rhythms of prayer, evangelism, and discipleship that spring from the Great Commission for every generation of Christians.
“It is not for you to know the times or dates that the Father has established by his own power,” Jesus says to us, just as he did to them.
We do not, on the other hand, soar aimlessly in our own strength.
Although Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father to sit at the right hand of the Father, he did not abandon his followers as orphans to complete this job on their own, and he has not abandoned us.
The festival of Pentecost is approaching. Wendy Alsup is the author of a number of works of fiction. In her most recent book, Is the Bible Good for Women?, she tackles difficult biblical texts from a Jesus-centered perspective. She maintains the website theologyforwomen.org.
What Ever Happened to the Disciples?
|What Ever Happened to the Disciples? (listed alphabetically)|
|Andrew (Peter’s brother, also a fisherman) died on a cross at Patrae, in Achaia, a Grecian Colony.|
|James (the elder son of Zebedee, brother of John) was beheaded at Jerusalem.|
|James (one of Jesus’ brothers, also called James the Less) was thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, and then beaten to death with a club.|
|John, the beloved disciple (elder son of Zebedee, brother of James, both James and John we also called “Sons of Thunder” or “Boanerges”), died of extreme old age in Ephesus.|
|Judas (also called Iscariot), after betraying his Lord, hanged himself.|
|Thaddeus (one of Jesus’ brothers, also called Jude) was shot to death with arrows.|
|Matthew (also called Levi, a tax collector) – Matthew was crucified in Alexandria.|
|Nathanael (also called Bartholomew) was flayed alive and beheaded in Albanapolis, Armenia.|
|Peter (also called Simon or Cephas, also called The Zealot) was crucified, head downward, on a cross in Persia (now Iran) during the persecution of Nero.|
|Philip was hanged against a pillar at Heropolis (Abyssinia).|
|Thomas (also called Didymous and the doubter) was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel, in the east Indies.|
|None of them recantedEven in the face of death, they still proclaimed Jesus the Messiah.Would they all have died like that to preserve a lie? They were all afraid when Jesus was crucified. They ran away and hid. After Jesus arose and came to them, they were different men. Changed. Not from without, but from within. They spread the Good News because they knew it was true.And what is the Good News? That the Lord came, not to condemn the world, but to save it. He is the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Him shall live even if he dies.|
According to the Apostolic Voice and the Christian novel “A Voice in the Wind,” written by Francine Rivers, this information comes from two sources (a very good read). Keep in mind that the majority of information is based on tradition (with the exception of Judas and James), as the origins cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The First Twenty Years: What Happened to the Church immediately after Jesus Died?
Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons What happened to the church in the hours and days after Jesus’ ascension into heaven? There was no New Testament book written during the first twenty years of the church’s existence. Paul did not begin writing until around twenty years after Jesus’ ascension, and the Gospels did not exist until nearly forty years after Jesus’ ascension. And, despite the fact that the book of Acts recounts crucial events from this early period, it can be difficult to piece together the overall image that Acts creates of the world.
The Last Forty-three Days before Jesus Ascends (A.D. 30)
Many people had turned their backs on Jesus as his ministry came to a close. Despite this, a handful of ladies, unidentified followers, and the twelve remained at his side. However, on the night of his treachery, even his closest followers fled from him in terror. And Peter himself denied the Lord three times throughout his ministry. From the perspective of an outsider, the Jesus movement appeared to be a colossal disaster. Jesus was executed as a criminal, and his disciples fled. Despite this, many, if not all, of his students returned to him.
- At this point, the apostle Paul appears to have counted more than “five hundred brethren” among the followers (1 Cor 15:6).
- When we think of the Jesus movement, we need to think of a tiny group of devout Jewish men and women who were committed to the cause.
- Christians, on the other hand, tended to come from middle- and lower-class backgrounds.
- However, this image would soon disappear because Jesus performed something that had never been done before: he rose from the dead.
- “He exhibited himself alive to them after his suffering by various evidence, coming to them throughout forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God,” according to the gospel according to Luke (Acts 1:3).
The Calm before the Storm of Pentecost (A.D. 30)
Jesus died during the Passover, resurrected from the dead three days later, and then spent forty days teaching his followers. As a result, on the forty-third day, Jesus ascended to the heavenly realm. Pentecost was celebrated a week later. On Jesus’ instruction throughout this week, one hundred and twenty disciples waited in Jerusalem (Acts 1:4). It was at this time that they “devoted themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14) and selected Matthias as the twelfth apostle to replace Judas, who had betrayed Jesus (Acts 1:26).
A ragged collection of Jewish Jesus followers remained in Jerusalem, praying, despite the fact that many of them had quit their jobs.
They sat and waited. These were presumably a small group of believers who were reliant on the generosity of a small number of supporters in Jerusalem. Then, fifty days after Jesus’ death, the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples.
Conflict without and within (A.D. 30–33)
When Jesus died on the night of the Passover, he was resurrected three days later and spent forty days teaching his followers. On the forty-third day, Jesus rose from the dead and entered the presence of the Father. Pentecost occurred a week later. A total of 122 disciples waited in Jerusalem throughout this week, as directed by Jesus’ instructions (Acts 1:4). It was at this time that they “devoted themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14) and selected a twelfth apostle, Matthias, to take the place of Judas, who had betrayed Christ (Acts 1:26).
One of the most unlikely groups of Jewish Jesus believers remained in Jerusalem to pray, despite the fact that many had quit their employment.
Probably, the generosity of a few supporters in Jerusalem enabled this little community of Christians to survive.
The Call of Paul (A.D. 30–33)
Following the assassination of Stephen and the church’s expulsion from Jerusalem, Saul (who we know as Paul) went to Damascus in order to continue persecuting believers. Instead, he came upon the resurrected Lord while traveling (Acts 9:23–25). The impact of Saul’s talk reverberated across the Jewish community in Israel. The persecutor was transformed into the persecuted in Damascus, and Paul was forced to quit the capital. He eventually ended up spending three years in Arabia (perhaps seeing Mount Sinai) before returning to Damascus (Gal 1:16).
Years before, Paul had stood by and watched the assassination of Stephen in the city of Jerusalem (Acts 8:1).
The crowd sought to assassinate Paul in the same manner that Stephen did before him (Acts 9:29).
It would be another eleven years before Paul would embark on his missionary missions in the New Testament (Gal 2:1).
Famine, Murder, and Schismatic Theology (A.D. 34?–47?)
With Paul having been converted and persecution still active across the region, one wonders if the situation for the fledgling Christian church could be much worse. Yes, it did. Agabus, a prophet at Antioch, predicted that there would be “a tremendous famine over the entire world” (Acts 11:28). “The disciples resolved, each according to his or her ability, to send aid to the brethren who were living in Judea” as a result of the impending disaster (Acts 11:29). To add insult to injury, Herod began persecuting Christians on top of the famine (Acts 12:1).
- Then Peter was arrested and imprisoned (Acts 12:3–5), though he managed to escape and may have never returned to Jerusalem.
- Paul would ultimately embark on his first missionary journey (about A.D.
- However, controversy would erupt once more, when false teachers infiltrated the Galatian church, stating that in order to be saved, one had to live in the manner of a Jew.
- The apostle Peter recognized that this couldn’t be correct because Jesus had stated as much (Acts 10–11), and Paul serves to remind him of the truth that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are justified by their trust in Jesus (Gal 2).
- However, this is not entirely true.
- “But other men came down from Judea and began instructing the brothers, saying, “Unless you are circumcised according to the law of Moses, you will not be saved,” according to Luke (Acts 15:1).
- Some members of the council contended that one must be circumcised in order to follow the rule of Moses.
- In other words, neither Jews nor Gentiles are saved by works of the law of Moses, but rather by the mercy of God.
- In spite of the fact that gentiles are exempt from keeping the law of Moses, the apostle instructs them not to upset Jewish believers by avoiding “from things defiled by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from that which has been strangled, and from blood” (Acts 15:20).
So the council establishes a compromise on specific rituals while maintaining the significance of Jesus Christ’s Gospel, which justifies both Jews and Gentiles on the basis of trust in him.
In the first twenty years of Christian history, two themes can be discerned: tremendous expansion and constant strife. The peaceful, immaculate early Church of the Middle Ages does not exist. What we discover is a fugitive church that has been attacked, murdered, famined, and accused of heresy. We discover a church that has been ravaged by internal strife and division. Although this is true, we can see Jesus’ promise in the middle of it: I will establish my church. Amidst all of the difficulties, the gospel was successfully disseminated throughout Europe (Acts 13–14) and Africa (see Acts 8) during this period.
That, however, is a story for another time.
WHY DID THE APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES STAY IN JERUSALEM
It is likely that the Apostles and disciples of Jesus of Nazareth were terrified for their own lives when he was executed on Good Friday, 30AD. To comprehend that, as terrified and bereaved as they must have been, they did not seek to leave Jerusalem to return to their own homes, but instead stayed for three days, according to the ancients’ reckoning, to witness the Resurrection of their Lord and Savior. Even though the Apostles were not fully aware of how the Scriptures were going to be fulfilled in the Resurrectionof Jesus of Nazareth, as Jesus Himself would teach them on Resurrection Sunday in Luke 24:26-27 and 44-47, the Apostles must have remembered those times during the last year of His ministrywhen Jesus attempted to prepare them for what they would be required to face by warning them that it was necessary for Him to die but that He would be raised from the dead.
In Matthew 16:21-23 (Mk 8:31-33; Lk 9:22), Jesus begins to make it clear to his disciples that he was destined to go to Jerusalem and suffer grievously at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and to be put to death, only to be raised up on the third day.
Recognizing their anguish and consternation following the first pronouncement of His death and predicted resurrection, Jesus offered hope to His followers by telling them: “Truth be told, there are those standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of man returning with His kingdom” (Matt 16:27-28).
- In Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36, Jesus gave Peter, James, and John a glimpse of the Resurrection when He brought them to the Mount of Transfiguration, where they saw Jesus in His glory with Moses and Elijah, two renowned prophets who symbolized the Law and Prophets.
- Throughout His discourse in Jerusalem, Jesus continued to speak of His Passion and Resurrection to His followers, as recorded in Matthew 17:22-23 (Mk 9:30-32; Lk 9:44-45), Matthew 20:17-19 (Mk 10:32-34; Lk 18:31-33), and John 12:31-33.
- Jesus revealed this to them in His “sign of Jonah” prophesy, which He provided to the Jewish authorities in Matthew 12:38-40 and which He repeated to them.
- In order to prevent his followers from stealing him away and telling the people that “He has risen from the dead,” issue the order that the sepulcher be kept guarded until the third day after the resurrection.
- Because of Jesus’s continuous testimony to His death and resurrection, the Jewish people “knew,” and the Apostles “knew” because of the promise of His glory witnessed in the Transfigurationevent, which was observed by the Jewish people.
- There was something more, however, that kept Peter, James, John, and the other disciples in Jerusalem following Jesus’ crucifixion: the presence of the Holy Spirit.
- Sinai, which was the foundation of their faith.
- 2 On Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion occurred; it was also known as “Preparation Day” for the holy Sabbath (Mark 15:42; Luke23:54; John 19:31).
- On top of that, there was a rule against traveling on Sundays.
- However, there was another rule written into the sacred Law that ensured that the disciples of Jesus remained in the holy city.
The body of the deceased had to be buried the same day, especially if the person was sentenced to death for a capital offense: If a man is sentenced to death for a capital offense and is hanged from a tree, his body must not remain on the tree overnight; it must be buried the same day, because anyone hanged is a curse from God, and you must not pollute the soil that Yahweh your God is giving you as your inheritance (Deut 21:22-23).
- Also required was the observance of the concept of “kevod ha-met,” which dictated that the departed be treated with regard and respect, as well as the principle of “kevod he-chai,” which mandated care for the well-being of the mourning family who had lost their loved one.
- The deceased’s body was prepared by the deceased’s relatives and closest friends, as well as a “meal of condolence” (Se’udat Havra-a) for the grieving family.
- A prayer called the “Tziduk Hadin” and another called the “Kaddish” are chanted throughout the week-long time of mourning.
- All His routes lead to justice; he is a God of trust who is without wickedness, who is just and fair; he is a God who is perfect in His work, because all His courses lead to justice (Jewish Tanach).
- The “Kaddish,” also known as the mourners’ prayer, is a statement of devotion for God, trust in His righteousness, and acceptance of His will on the part of the mourners.
- Even if He kills me, I will continue to put my faith in Him.
The Hebrew word “Shiva” (also written sheva or shaba) means “seven” and the ritual is based on Amos 8:10, which states: “And I will convert your feasts into sorrow.” 5 (the holy pilgrim feasts of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles lasted seven days;Ex 23:14-15; Lev 23:6-7, 34, 39; Num 28:17; 29:12; Deut 16:16).
Due to their position as Jesus’ closest friends, the Apostles remained in Jerusalem with the rest of Jesus’ family, where they sat “Shiva” with the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ kinsmen, and the rest of those who adored Jesus, among other things.
Michal Hunt is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom.
The Agape Bible Study was held in 2008.
Information Supplementary to the above It is necessary to identify Emmaus, the biblical town where Jesus revealed himself in “The Breaking of the Bread.” Endnotes1 Because the ancients did not understand the concept of a 0-place value, the first number in any sequence was always considered to be number 1.
The Sabbath is designated as a day of rest in 2Exodus20:8-10.
These a slew of restrictions are not found in the Bible, but were inserted later by the church.
The Pharisees were frequently critical of Jesus’ “working” on the Sabbath, which included healing the sick (Mk 3:1-6; Lk 13:10-14; 14:1-6) and allowing his disciples to pick grain from a field when they were hungry (Mk 3:1-6).
Matthew 12:3-8 contains Jesus’ response to their question (also Mk 2:27-28;Lk6:5).
Kolatch’s The Jewish Book of Why, vol.
3.A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, I.ii., II.ii., Emil Schurer, Hendrickson Publishers, 1890, 2008.
4.The New Jerusalem Bible, published by Doubleday in 1985.
6.Ralph Novak’s Christianity in the Roman Empire, published by Trinity Press in 2001. Michal Hunt is a writer who lives in the United Kingdom. Copyright & Permissions (2005) Agape Bible Study All Intellectual Property Rights are Reserved.