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The 12 Apostles - Who were they?

Updated on February 26, 2012

Christians would no doubt be reflecting on Jesus death at this time of the year in particular.

No doubt questions arise regarding his sacrificial death and about those closely associated with him at the time.

Jesus' 12 Apostles are those that would come to mind recalling that they spent the previous evening with him on Nisan 14.

Their names according to Mathew chapter 10 in the bible.

1 PETER - formally known as Simon Peter

2 ANDREW – Brother of Simon Peter

3 JAMES – Brother of John






9 JAMES – Known as the “The lesser one”


11 SIMON – The Zealot/ Simeon


NB :- MATTHIAS replaced Judas Iscariot as one of the 12 Apostles following his betrayal of Jesus on the night of the Passover, Nisan 14.

Of the twelve, eleven were evidently Galileans with Judas Iscariot considered the sole Judean.

They were from the working class; four were definitely fishermen by trade; one had been a tax collector.

The 12 were selected out of a large group of disciples and were designated “apostles” by Jesus with their primary mission to preach and to continue with him. According to the Mathew account, the apostles “continued with him” in close association during the remainder of his earthly ministry, receiving extensive personal instruction and training in the ministry.

Since they continued to be Jesus' pupils they were still called “disciples” however after the Passover they were consistently called “apostles”.

At the time of their appointment, Jesus gave them miraculous powers to heal, as well as to expel demons. After Jesus' death they continued to have these powers.

Despite their years of close association with Jesus and knowing him to be the Messiah, they abandoned him at the time of his arrest and they were slow to accept the testimony of a woman who first saw Jesus after his resurrection. Mathew 26:56, Luke 24:10.

The resurrected Jesus gave them further enlightenment and following his ascension to heaven on the 40th day from his resurrection, they showed great joy and “were continually in the temple blessing God” Luke chapter 24.

Jesus teaches his Apostles on the Mount of Olives
Jesus teaches his Apostles on the Mount of Olives

The 12 Apostles - The Lord's Evening Meal - Nisan 14

Over 15 centuries after the Exodus, on Nisan 14 of the year 33CE, Jesus gathered with his 12 apostles in Jerusalem to celebrate the last valid Passover. This was to be the memorial of his death by means of the Lord’s Supper, or Evening Meal.

Upon gathering the 12 apostles he said to them, “I have great desire to eat this Passover with you before I suffer”. Luke 22:15

According to John, Jesus dismissed Judas before instituting the Memorial Meal.

During the Lord’s Evening Meal that followed, Jesus passed the bread and the wine to the remaining 11 apostles, telling them to eat and drink. Luke 22: 19, 20

Afterwards he spoke to them as “the ones who have stuck with me in my trials”.

What a privilege it was for these apostles to share Jesus' last moments with him on Nisan 14!

NB:- Nisan is the postexilic name of the first Jewish lunar month of the sacred calendar, corresponding to part of March and part of April.

The Lord's evening meal with his Apostles
The Lord's evening meal with his Apostles


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    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for visiting my article and leaving a comment.

      Have a nice day and hope to meet with you again!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      Very nice and interesting hub, sorry I missed it, but glad I came across it now.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Your comments above are a nice addition to my article, thanks and I hope other readers take note.

    • MojoDawg profile image

      MojoDawg 5 years ago from Fort Worth Texas

      Lady, I appreciate your compelling reflection on the dynamics around the Passover, a fitting time and especially the look from the eyes of the disciples. They were men made of flesh as we are and that was clear when the council took Jesus "King of the Jews" to be unjustly tried and crucified.

      I suppose we would like to think we could be stronger than those men, but I believe not. We are cut form the same cloth and the courageous things that GOD did through the same men "sanctified with his SPIRIT" he can do through people like us filled with that same spirit. Once "The Light" was on they propelled themselves fully into the message of the gospel as GODS holy Apostles; even unto their death.

      Love your hubs, peace and Blessings! Voting up.

    • profile image

      Sarena 5 years ago

      Certainly a good time of the year to remember this memorial meal. Very interesting only 11 apostles seated at the table, i forgot that Judas was dismissed, thanks for pointing that out.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thanks for reading Sannel!

      Just a time for reflection I thought.

      As for the sketches, did you notice that only 11 Apostles are seated in the first sketch? Judas had been dismissed. The artist gave attention to detail.

      Have a nice day!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      A very fitting and interesting read for this time of the year. This has freshened up some of my memory of the twelve apostles and their memorial meal. LadyLyell, yet another beautiful hub from you, and I loved looking at the colorful sketches. Voted up and sharing! Thanks!