Such an easy question! How did the 12 “original” disciples die? Who replaced them?
I will start of by shocking you…the overall answer is (from roll!) – YOU!
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
But the reason I ask is to bring to remembrance what believers have gone through during the ages.
1. “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?”(Jeremiah 32:27)
Often we think because our trial is big to us, that it will be too big for God almighty. But God is able to handle anything we go through, and He does that for every person who calls on Him.
2. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)
When we are in a trial, it seems like it will never end, But God is a God of all time; He knows exactly how long our trials will endure and He will give us the strength we need to get through them.
3. “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”(Deuteronomy 31:6)
Often when we’re facing a trial, because we don’t know what is in our future, we forget God knows. He transcends time. He is the God of our present and He’s in the future as well. It just makes sense that we would let Him guide us since He knows infinitely more about our lives than we do.
4. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Often we spend countless time and all our energy trying to figure out what we should do when we have difficulties. We end up leaning on everything but God. But this verse assures us if we lean on Him, He will direct us. He will make our paths straight. What a reassurance that is. There is no path that God cannot make straight.
5. “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Trials have a way of wearing us down and before long, we don’t think we can put one weary foot in front of another. The enemy of our soul whispers that we are alone and that we will never make it. God reassures us that He is with us. God will give us the strength we need; He will help us and will uphold us. And if God upholds us, we’re going to be okay.
6. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:26-27)
God has not left us alone in this world. To those of us who know Jesus as Savior, He has given us his Holy Spirit. And it is His Spirit who reminds us of what God says in His Word. The peace God gives us is a peace the world cannot even understand. It’s a peace that will settle our hearts and give our minds rest.
7. “Cast your burden upon the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22)
God is waiting for us to take whatever troubles us and to cast that onto Him. The problem is sometimes we do that and then we let worry come in, and we snatch out problems back from God. But if we really were able to cast it on Him, then we would know He is more than able to handle whatever we are facing. God understands that doubts will sometimes creep in. Even Thomas had doubts. Still, God encourages us to trust that He will sustain us. He will help steady us no matter how shaky the world gets.
8. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:25-27)
God often speaks about the sparrows around us. He tells us that we are worth more to Him than these little birds. He says this to make a point. If the God of the universe cares about the welfare of tiny, little birds, how much more does He care about us? The ones who were made in His own image. He tells us that we should not worry, just as those birds don’t give a second thought to where they will eat. Instead they trust the Father’s hand.
9. “Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation.” (Psalm 91:14-16)
God is our rescuer. The One who will come when we call and who will take us to safety. We acknowledge that we know Him and he gives us His protection. We call on Him and He responds. And He just doesn’t watch us in trouble, He delivers us out of it. And then He honors us and blesses us with long life. God shows us He is looking out for us, and all He asks is that we call on Him.
A Prayer for Hard Times
Lord, help us when we face trials in this life. Help us to call on You, knowing You always hear us. Help us to lean on You instead of leaning on our own understanding. Give us the strength we need, and remind us always that You are aware of what touches us. You see even one sparrow that falls and we are worth more than sparrows. Thank you Lord, for not leaving us comfortless. Thank You for Your great love. We pray this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
Ok, ok….I admit that as you read I can go off on related ‘tangents!’ The question above was the deaths of the original Disciples?
Judas? We need not ask! KNOWN to most…and it is?
According to Matthew 27:1–10, after learning that Jesus was to be crucified, Judas attempted to return the money he had been paid for his betrayal to the chief priests and committed suicide by hanging.
I will be cheeky! Was Saul (renamed Paul a disciple?)
We have shared the story of his being assassinated with some of the original persecution of The ‘Church’
During the stoning of Stephen, according to the book of Acts, “the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul,” who later converted to Christianity and took the name Paul.
Acts 7:58-8:1a NRSV
Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he died. And Saul approved of their killing him.
The conversion of Paul the Apostle, was, according to the New Testament, an event in the life of Paul the Apostle that led him to cease persecuting early Christians and to become a follower of Jesus. It is normally dated to AD 33–36.
Paul sought authority to imprison believers. It was on one such trip that things turned sharply around! And Paul became one of the detested and attempts were made to stop him.
“For several days he was with the disciples in Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “This man is the Son of God.” All who heard him were amazed and were saying, “Is this not the man who in Jerusalem was ravaging those who call on this name, and who had come here to bring them as prisoners to the chief priests?” But Saul became more and more capable, and was causing consternation among the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. Now after some days had passed, the Jews plotted together to kill him, but Saul learned of their plot against him. They were also watching the city gates day and night so that they could kill him. But his disciples took him at night and let him down through an opening in the wall by lowering him in a basket.”
We, however are focusing on the 11 disciples. Can we ‘habit’ a guess as to their ‘ends’?
1. Who was crucified? Or I should ask “who refused to be crucified, and as hung upside down?”
2. Who was ‘boiled’ in a pot of oil?
3. Were any stoned to death as in the instance of Steven?
5. Bartholomew or Nathanael
6. James, the Lesser or Younger
8. Jude or Thaddeus
9. Matthew or Levi
11. Simon the Zealot
Peter and Paul
Both martyred in Rome about 66 AD, during the persecution under Emperor Nero. Paul was beheaded. Peter was crucified, upside down at his request, since he did not feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord.
went to the “land of the man-eaters,” in what is now the Soviet Union. Christians there claim him as the first to bring the gospel to their land. He also preached in Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey, and in Greece, where he is said to have been crucified.
was probably most active in the area east of Syria. Tradition has him preaching as far east as India, where the ancient Marthoma Christians revere him as their founder. They claim that he died there when pierced through with the spears of four soldiers.
possibly had a powerful ministry in Carthage in North Africa and then in Asia Minor, where he converted the wife of a Roman proconsul. In retaliation the proconsul had Philip arrested and cruelly put to death.
the tax collector and writer of a Gospel, ministered in Persia and Ethiopia. Some of the oldest reports say he was not martyred, while others say he was stabbed to death in Ethiopia.
had widespread missionary travels attributed to him by tradition: to India with Thomas, back to Armenia, and also to Ethiopia and Southern Arabia. There are various accounts of how he met his death as a martyr for the gospel.
the son of Alpheus, is one of at least three James referred to in the New Testament. There is some confusion as to which is which, but this James is reckoned to have ministered in Syria. The Jewish historian Josephus reported that he was stoned and then clubbed to death.
Simon the Zealot
so the story goes, ministered in Persia and was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god.
was the apostle chosen to replace Judas. Tradition sends him to Syria with Andrew and to death by burning.
is the only one of the company generally thought to have died a natural death from old age. He was the leader of the church in the Ephesus area and is said to have taken care of Mary the mother of Jesus in his home. During Domitian’s persecution in the middle 90’s, he was exiled to the island of Patmos. There he is credited with writing the last book of the New Testament–the Revelation. An early Latin tradition has him escaping unhurt after being cast into boiling oil at Rome.
For Pete’s sake
The names of Jesus’ apostles have become the most common names for males in the Western world. How many do you know named John, Pete, Tom, Andy, Jim, Bart, or Phil?
At least four of the apostles were fishermen. Can this be part of the reason that one of the earliest and most prominent Christian symbols was the fish? The Greek word for fish, ichthus, formed an acrostic: Iesous Christos Theou Uios Soter, which means “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”
After the death of the apostles, we do not find great missionary figures of the stature of Paul. Yet the faith continued to spread like wildfire — even though Christianity was declared an illegal religion.
Will you be a part of His-story? What ‘unique-ness’ have you been blessed with?
There is so much more to be discussed, but I thought I would open the floor.