“Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.”
These twelve ordinary men were chosen, empowered, and sent by Jesus into the world with the simple message of salvation. As a result, their lives have transformed the world.
John Foxe records the plight of many of them:
Phillip labored in Asia and was scourged, thrown into prison, and crucified.
Matthew served the Lord in North Africa and was speared to death.
Andrew served in Asia and was crucified.
Peter’s ministry, to some degree, is recorded in the book of Acts. He is said to have been crucified upside down.
Bartholomew spread the Gospel through India, and was beaten and crucified.
Thomas preached in India and was speared to death.
Simon the zealot is thought to have taken the Gospel to Britain, where he was crucified.
John lived to be an aged man. He faced great persecution, but is thought to have died a natural death.
Their brief time on planet earth forever changed the course of human history. D.L. Moody said, “the world is yet to see what God can do through a life completely surrendered to Him.” Oh, that we would follow the example of the twelve, and live lives committed to Christ.