Luke 6:11-15

Luke 6:11 (KJB)
And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

Here the Pharisees had begun to plot to kill Jesus. The word in the Greek for “madness” carries with it the meaning of “fury or rage.” Up to this point they were just happy to criticize and accuse Him of various violations of the law. They now believed they had cause to have Him put to death because they believed that He violated the sabbath by working on it. (Exo 31:14 KJV) Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Of course, by the time the Babylonian Talmud came down to the time of Jesus, there were at least 500 years worth of additions to it making it an impossible document to follow. They took it as an affront that Jesus healed on the sabbath right in front of them, despite their objections. This would hurt their pride because they were used to being slavishly obeyed.

Luke 6:12 (KJB)
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Here Jesus goes into a mountain to pray because shortly He is going to choose His twelve disciples. It was going to be a big decision and that is why He continued all night in prayer. Jesus had often went to a place of solitude to pray and be alone, especially when a major event was about to happen. This is a good lesson for the Christian that we need to seek God’s will before we do something, not after we get into trouble or make a wrong decision.

Luke 6:13 (KJB)
And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Here Jesus finished praying all night to the Father and immediately after His time of prayer, the morning had come and He immediately called unto Himself His disciples. He did not allow any time to pass because the decision had to be made soon so the ministry can begin and He could begin training them so they will in turn train the next generation. For now they are disciples which means one who follows or receives instruction. They will be in the learning stage but when they are empowered with the Holy Spirit, then they will be apostles. The word “apostle” in the Greek means “one who is sent.” That will be the ministry of these twelve, that they will be sent to minister. There are no apostles today which were like the original twelve. Once the Bible was completed, the word “apostle” was transferred to all believers in the body of Christ because all believers are sent. (Mat 10:16 KJV) Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Luke 6:14 (KJB)
Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

Simon Peter - His original name “Simon” means “hearing or obeying.” His name was changed to Peter by the Lord which means “rock or stone.” He was a fisherman of Bethsaida and then afterwards had made his home in Capernaum. He was the unofficial spokesman for the twelve disciples. A Roman Catholic myth about Peter which must be rejected is that he was the first pope. Tradition states that he was crucified upside down not feeling worthy to be crucified like His Lord.

Andrew - His name means “manliness,” or “a stout and strong man.” He was the brother of Peter and introduced him to the Messiah. He was also a disciple of John the Baptist but then later followed the Lord Jesus Christ. He is said to have preached as far as Kiev and Novogorod in Russia. Tradition states that he was crucified in the form of an “X” because of his staunch opposition to the idolatry of Aegeas. He was martyred in the city of Patras of Achaea and the way he was crucified became known as “St. Andrew’s Cross.”

James the Son of Zebedee - His name means “supplanter” because in Hebrew his name is Jacob. He and his brother John were known as the “sons of thunder.” Zebedee was a Galilean fisherman and was partners with his son James and his other brothers. He was a man of means since he had servants and lived near to Caiaphas. He was a disciple of Jesus for 17 years when Herod Agrippa ended his life by martyrdom.

John the Son of Zebedee - His name means “Jehovah has been gracious.” He was the youngest of the disciples. He became the beloved disciple, “The Apostle of Love.” John was also a successful fisherman and was mending the nets when Jesus called him. He authored the Gospel of John, 1,2,3 John and the book of Revelation. Tradition states that he was boiled in oil and then banished to the Isle of Patmos where he penned the Book of Revelation under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is said he lived to be nearly 100 years old.

Philip - His name means “warrior or a lover of horses.” He was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee. Tradition claims that Philip was the one who asked Jesus if he could first go and bury his father. (Matthew 8:21) The call to faith and discipleship came at one calling. Tradition states that he died a martyr in Heirapolis.

Bartholomew - The name means “a son that suspends the waters.” However, this was not his real name but a patronymic. This Apostle is identified as Nathanael. Nothing more is known of him in the Scriptures because he is only named when the twelve are named. According to tradition, he was martyred in Albanapolis in Armenia. He was flayed alive and crucified with his head downward.

Luke 6:15 (KJB)
Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

Matthew - His name means “Gift of Jehovah.” His name was Levi and he lived in Galilee. He was a tax collector at the tax booth on the Sea of Galilee in Capernaum. Jesus approached Matthew and said, “Follow Me” and Matthew left everything and followed Jesus. He gave him a dinner a little later where he invited the other tax gatherers. He came to pen the Gospel of Matthew under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Tradition states that Matthew died as a martyr.

Thomas - He was also called Didymus meaning “twin.” He earned the name “doubting Thomas” because he did not accept the story of the resurrection from the other Apostles. However, Thomas was a brave soul as he was willing to die with the Lord Jesus Christ if they went back to Judah. (John 11:16) It is stated that he died in 72 A.D. in India as a martyr.

James the Son of Alphaeus - James means “supplanter” as the Hebrew name is “Jacob.” Very little is known of him apart from his name and his father’s name. His mother was one of the devoted women who stood by the cross. He had a brother named Joses who was a believer. (Mark 15:40) Tradition states that he was a tax gatherer. His death was either in Egypt or Jerusalem.

Simon the Canaanite (Zelotes) - He had a connection with Cana in Galilee. The Hebrew word “canna” means zealous and that is why he is called “Simon Zelotes.” As a Zealot, he belonged to the party of the same name. After he became a follower of Christ, he was still a zealot but this time for the things of Christ. No longer was his focus national emancipation from the Romans but now it was emancipation from sin and hell. The place of his death has been disputed among many names.