1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.
2 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;
3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;
4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.
disciples (v.1) = pupils
apostles (v.2) = sent ones
The apostles names are listed in pairs, perhaps the arrangement in which they were sent out.
Bartholomew (v.3) — probably the same as Nathanael in John 1.
Alphaeus (v.3) — married to a relative (sister?) of Mary, Jesus’ mother, so James and Judas were cousins (first cousins?) of the Lord.
Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus (v.3) — some manuscripts just say “Thaddaeus.” He was called Judas in Luke 6:16.
Canaanite (v.4) = Cananaean. He had been a member of the nationalist party known as the Zealots, who resisted Herod the Great by force, so he is sometimes referred to as Simon the Zealot.
All the apostles were Galilean except Judas Iscariot (v.4), who was Judean. Iscariot probably means “of Kerioth,” a town in Judea.
The twelve messengers, whose names are given in the second, third and fourth verses, stand as such always in relation to Israel. [The Lord] tells them later, “Ye shall also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). Even in the New Jerusalem there will be this distinction. “Her shining was like a most precious stone, as a crystal like jasper stone; having a great, high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names inscribed, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel … And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:12-14). The twelve apostles thus stand in prominent and definite relation to Israel. Here among the twelve, who are sent forth is also the name of Judas the Iscariot, who delivered Him up. After his awful end another was rightly and divinely chose in his place, that is Matthias. — Gaebelein, pages 204-205.
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