Twelve is an interesting number. In English, we call twelve things “a dozen”. Eggs are sold by the dozen. Many things are cheaper by the dozen.
In the Bible, Jesus chose a specific group of men to follow him and they are called “the twelve apostles“. The twelve apostles were disciples of Jesus who walked with him every day. We can read their names in Mark 3 马可福音. Below is a list of the twelve apostles in the order they are named in the book of Mark. In our discussion, you will discover more about them.
- Simon Peter
- Bartholomew also called Nathanael
- Simon the Zealot
- Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him
Discussion: Mark 3:13-19
- In the table of contents of your Bible in the New Testament, find these books: Matthew | John
- Read Matthew 4:18-20 and Matthew 4:21-22. Which two apostles were brothers? What was their occupation?
- Read Matthew 9:9. What was Matthew’s occupation?
- Read Matthew 26:14-16. What do we know about Judas Iscariot?
- Read John 20:24-25. Thomas is sometimes called “doubting Thomas”. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, what happened that gave Thomas that name?
- Read John 20:28. Later when Jesus appeared to Thomas personally, what did Thomas say to Jesus?
- Read John 20:29. What did Jesus tell Thomas?
Word List & Helps
apostle – each of the twelve disciples of Jesus
disciple – student or learner
occupation – job
doubting – to be uncertain or unable to decide
Sabbath – the day of rest for the Jewish people
Think about it!
After Jesus called the Twelve to follow Him in Mark chapter 3, these are verses in Mark that refer to “the Twelve”:
Mark 4:10 | 6:7 | 9:35 | 10:32 | 11:11 | 14:10 | 14:17 | 14:20 | 14:43
Bible Reading: Mark 3 马可福音
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Crowds Follow Jesus
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.
Jesus Appoints the Twelve
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelvea] that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” 22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”