4. IN THE SERVICE OF THE LORD
Background: Jesus’ first meeting with his
disciples had been on a mountain and so was also the last one. By
this time, Jesus had called at least five disciples: Peter and
his brother Andrew, the sons of Zebedee (1:29), and Levi-Matthew
(2:14). (Note: This text is not very well suited to a GTBS group.
So now we are deviating from the rules and asking questions for
which the answer is not found in the text.)
- What draws your attention in verse 13? (Do you think the
invitees had freedom of choice? Why did they meet especially on
- Why are there as many apostles as Jacob had sons? (What does
the number of apostles show us about the Christian church?)
- Why was the request “to be with Jesus” the very
first thing on the disciples’ task list?
- Why should it be more important for a Christian to be
with Jesus than to do things for Jesus?
- What does being with Jesus mean in practice in your life?
(How much time do you spend daily/weekly in Bible reading and
- Discuss the topic: how could we get our devotional lives in
- Why were the disciples given specifically the task of
preaching and casting out demons? (What does this assignment seem
to be missing?)
- What should we learn from the fact that Jesus found casting
out demons such an important thing?
Verses 16-19. Note that specifically these 12 men became
apostles and founders of the church.
- Peter means rock. Simon Peter’s name is always
mentioned first in every disciple list of NT. What kind of
picture have you got of this man: what were his pros and cons?
- If you were to choose a manager for your business, do you
think you would end up with a man like Peter? Given reasons for
- What qualities made Peter fit to lead the group of disciples
and later the church?
- Zebedee, the father of James and John, was a wealthy
fisherman. The boys also had an ambitious mother. Do you remember
any situations in the lives of these brothers that could explain
why Jesus gave them the name the boys of thunder”?
- The other ten disciples were once angry with Zebedee’s
boys because these wanted the best places in the kingdom of
Jesus. What does this case prove about the ten disciples?
- What impression do you have of the disciple John based on his
- Apparently, James was John’s elder brother. Herod
killed him as the first of the apostles a dozen years after
Pentecost. How could God afford to let one of the apostles die at
such an early stage?
- Andrew was first a disciple of John the Baptist and moved on
then to follow Jesus. He led his brother Peter to Jesus. What was
Andrew’s status like as Peter’s brother among
- Matthew was originally a customs officer and a follower of
the occupying dominion Rome. Simon Cananaean, alias Zealot, had
once been a member of the opposition movement i.e. zealots (cf.
Luke. 6:15). What problems did these starting points perhaps
cause to the group of disciples?
- What should we do to ensure that right-wingers and leftists
could serve God in one church?
- Thomas was the one who doubted. Why was also a witness like
him needed among the disciples?
- One of the disciples is given three names by the evangelists:
Thaddaeus (Mark), Lebbaeus (Matthew), and Judas, son of James
(Luke). What do you think this is proof of?
- The Gospels and Acts tell us nothing about what James, the
son of Alphaeus or Bartholomew would have said or done. Why not?
- What do you think Jesus felt about Judas Iscariot?
- According to tradition, all the other apostles died as
martyrs except John. What does this show about them?
- Which disciple do you resemble the most?
- How does your character and experience, but also your trauma,
help you in your mission in the kingdom of God?
- Where is the gospel in this text?
Glad tidings: Jesus wanted also to choose you to
the group of his disciples, because he loves you and has died for
you. He also wants to give you a task in his kingdom that no one
else is able carry out.