Jesus’ Disciples and His Training of Them (Based on The Training of the Twelve, A. B. Bruce, 1877)

Stages in relation to Jesus

  • They became believers and then occasional companions.
    •  John 1-4
      • Some accompany him to the Cana wedding (John 2:1), Passover in Jerusalem (John 2:13, 17, 22), witnessed John the Baptist’s ministry (John 3:22), travel in Samaria to Galilee (John 4:1-27, 31, 43-45).
    • They left their jobs to work with him.
  • Peter, Andrew, James, John.
    • The third stage began when Jesus chose them and formed them into a distinct band. He chose them for apostleship.
      • They had been with him for an indeterminate period of time.
      • They heard and watched him.
      • Jesus was preparing agents to carry out his work.
      • He chose Capernaum as his base of operations.
      • Later they were to be his witnesses to the world after he ascended.
      • They would be able to give a faithful account of his words and deeds.
      • They saw his character and a reflection of his spirit.

Jesus trained, taught, and educated his disciples so that He would have a permanent influence on the world.

  • Based on conviction, not emotion.
  • Disciples must
    • Free from Jewish narrowness
    • Free from ceremonialism
    • Proclaim the cross, which up to that time had been a badge of infamy, but to them, a badge of redemption.
  • The disciples were willing, but ignorant, narrow, full of prejudice, misconceptions, and animosities.

The disciples had a capacity for greatness. Where there is a desire to know the Lord there is an indefinite capacity for growth and greatness. They began as crude, ignorant, narrow, and often confused.

All the disciples were devoted to Jesus and his Kingdom.

  • They were enthusiasts for the fulfillment of God’s kingdom with Jesus as the King.
  • They were supremely attracted to him, to his message, and to his kingdom.
  • They forsook everything for him.

Those not part of the twelve did occasionally follow Jesus place to place. It was optional. They had other jobs to do.