By Pastor Bruce Moore
How well did you do at naming the 12 disciples at church a couple of Sabbaths ago? Overall, you did very well! Almost half of those present turned in a slip and at least half of those who made an effort got 8 or more right. A number of people were able to accurately list all 12 disciples. Among them were Bobby Barrett, Gordon Bennett, Benjamin Hook, Jocelyn Keough, Lloyd Kellum, and Evonne (Cottrell) Syvertson, and Earl VandeVere. It looks like several of those with perfect scores could credit a song they knew, as there seemed to be a common order to several of the responses. The song was a great help in compiling their lists.
Another nine slips had 11 disciples listed correctly. Those included Charlotte, Esther, "GHK," Madelyn, Jason Miller, "C," Pastor Doug, and one person who was uncertain enough that there was no name on the paper at all. The "Knowles-Porter" families used the team approach to get 11 correct, as well. The majority of those who got 11 right (and quite a few other individuals, as well) found their downfall in listing both Nathaniel and Bartholomew, which are both names for the same disciple.
The other thing found on over half of the lists was the inclusion of all four of the gospel writers -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. If you did that you only got two right, as Luke was a physician ,and Mark was only a boy when Jesus set out on His public ministry.
Most scholars believe that Mark's gospel was the first gospel written. The Gospel of Mark, they will tell you, is most likely the story of Christ's ministry as seen and shared through the eyes of Peter, and recorded forposterity by young Mark. Try reading the Gospel of Mark and viewing the stories as coming from Peter’s lips and you may see some things in an interesting new light.
Other top "nominations" for the list of disciples included Paul, Timothy, Stephen, Matthias, Barnabas, and Nicodemus.
As we continue about once a month to look at "The Master's Men," you'll notice that humanity hasn't really changed all that much. Each one of them was human, too -- just like you and I. But they turned their lives over to God and He used them for His glory.
God still uses disciples today. Don't ever forget that He has a place for you in His plan!
"Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God." (Col 327)