In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.
Comment: These names of the apostles are obviously not their original names. When the Bible was translated into English the names were changed by the translators to the English equivalents. So Andrew was Adam and in the greek Andropos; in the Amharic Bible is Indrias. James is interesting because his name was Jakov and whereas Jacob would probably be the best English equivalent, King James – the King behind the translation of his day wanted his name to be a Bible name! Of course Peter (Petros) had his name changed by Jesus from Shimon Cephas. Unlike the modern West, where there is a legal process, you were free to change your name and people would often be known by several names. My brother never calls me Barry – to him I’m Bert. So there is, understandably, a bit of confusion with the Apostles names but it can be sorted out.
I think more interesting is the broad background from which they come. Fishermen, a tax gatherer, a zealot (who wanted to fight the Romans physically), a foreigner, one who became a traitor. Jesus calls people from all walks of life.
Then he settles with them (the apostles), his disciples and a large crowd from the whole Jewish area, and holds a healing session for any who came unwell, before settling down to give the longest sermon preached by Jesus that we have recorded. It wasn’t a homily or a 20 minute talk but we shall see that in the coming days.
Prayer: Do you want me to be something for you in this world, Jesus?