x352.......Disciples to Apostles (the training method of Jesus)

35 ¶ And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. 1 ¶ And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 5 ¶ These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give, (Mathew 9:35-10:8)


Disciples into Apostles

Up to this point in the bible the followers of Jesus were called disciples. This is what "disciples" means..

mathetes {math-ay-tes'} n m

---- disciple 268, vr disciple 1; 269

1) a learner, pupil, disciple


They had been following JESUS and watching Him perform in the gift of ministry, healing the sick, preaching the gospel. These verses take place at the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. He had just recently called and chosen disciples to follow him. They were common people with no special training, fishermen, tax collectors etc.(Jesus specifically was not born Himself to the tribe of Levi--nor did He choose any Levites for His apostles--yet He did more minsitry than they did--somehting which repeatedly made them mad--they did not like Him usurping their "God-given authority"!) Up to this point, the disciples had not done any great works or preached the gospel. But suddenly Jesus sees a need,t here were not enough ministers to help all the people.

36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

After saying the short prayer....

38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Jesus then did the following...

1 ¶ And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

He gave them these powers to heal and cast out devils. But these are the same signs that he said would follow all believers.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18

But let us notice something that happens in the next verse...

2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter.....

The disciples have turned into apostles. This is a clear demonstration of the gift of ministry that Jesus gave. He gave this gift while He was alive on the earth to His followers but He also gave these gifts to everyone of us. ....

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (Ephesians 4:7-11, KJV).

Now His disciples having been given the gift of an apostle could now function in the ministry. Jesus himself trained, approved and released them, no man did this. He also only called them "apostles" when He sent them forth into the world. AS He sends us into the world today, not forever learning, but giving the gift within us freely, as it was freely given to us. His gifts are freely given as this says, not earned.

7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give,

He dispensed to them all the power and gifts of the ministry, gifts of healing, deliverance, even the power to raise the dead. They were commanded as ministers to give freely their ministry gifts to others. As they received, they were to give. (How often have we heard this half-verse used to teach money giving within the church--"you have receieved freely--you must give freely". Wait a minute--IF we have received freely--then why do we have to pay for the teaching?--When read in context we see that Jesus was saying that the disciples had received theri minstry freely--and they were to give--to serve others--freely--which they did. The apostles in the Bible never took a paycheck or built themsleves a comfortable house to operate from--they gave the money which was laid at their feet to everyone within the church who had need---what an example--do we strive toward it at all??


This was the training method of Jesus--is it the same training method we use in our churches today? In the early church, ministers were trained in the same way with the same speed--simply because they realized that ministry is a gift from God, not a diploma from a Bible school. The gift of ministry is apparent in individuals even before they are saved--but after they are saved and come to love and have a desire to serve the Lord their gift then comes into fruition and can be readily directed for the use of God.

This is the "training method" of Jesus--find individuals who are common people--show them God and preach to them the Gospel. Encourage them to follow and love the Lord--and then release them to serve God with the gift that He has already given them. In the early church it is apparent that these gifts came into great fruition when the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost--perhaps even a greater fruition than in the time of Jesus--since it was after He ascended that the Spirit was sent. This bears true when we see the speed with which they spread the Gospel around their known world. They spread the Gospel without any of the modern conveniences of communication that we have, and also with incredible resistance. The believers in Jerusalem lived in a city which was ruled by pagan Rome, and filled with Jewish leaders who had just crucified Jesus. Yet they were able with the power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts that the Lord had sent them, to quickly preach the Gospel and convert thousands in days. There was no ministry training institute or bible college--just the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit and their own inborn God given gifts--they operated humbly, in small groups, from all the homes of the people--on a "common" level. This was the apostleship which Jesus had demonstrated to them, and which they lived out as our example from the Bible.