PLANETARY HEADQUARTERS, JANUARY 12, AD 27
Today a great host of celestial beings observed the ordination of the twelve apostles of Jesus on the planet Earth. Jesus instructed the twelve mortals who had just listened to his declaration concerning the kingdom to kneel in a circle about him. Then the Master placed his hands upon the head of each apostle, beginning with Judas Iscariot and ending with Andrew. When he had blessed them, he extended his hands and prayed:
“My Father, I now bring to you these men, my messengers. From among our children on earth I have chosen these twelve to go forth to represent me as I came forth to represent you. Love them and be with them as you have loved and been with me. And now, my Father, give these men wisdom as I place all the affairs of the coming kingdom in their hands. And I would, if it is your will, tarry on earth a time to help them in their labors for the kingdom. And again, my Father, I thank you for these men, and I commit them to your keeping while I go on to finish the work you have given me to do.”
A great silence pervaded the place while a host of celestial beings looked down upon this solemn and sacred scene—the Creator of a universe placing the affairs of the divine brotherhood of man under the direction of human minds.
Who are the twelve men chosen by Jesus of Nazareth, who is now incarnated as a mortal on Earth? Apparently Jesus has elected to place his divine brotherhood in the hands of ordinary men and under the direction of ordinary minds. Generally, these men are educated, but not formally trained as teachers.
ANDREW: Chief administrator and leader. The ablest and oldest of the apostles, age 33. One of John the Baptist’s disciples. An unmarried fisherman who lives with his married brother, Simon Peter. He is a partner in a fishing business with John and James Zebedee. Strengths: Efficient personal worker, clear insights, an excellent judge of men. Logical thinker, makes good decisions. Weaknesses: Poor orator. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s sincerity, his unaffected dignity.
SIMON PETER: The outstanding preacher of the apostles, age 30. Also a disciple of John the Baptist, lived in Bethsaida near Capernaum. Married, with three children. Strengths: Optimistic, loyal, the best orator of the apostles. Weaknesses: Impulsive, vacillating, not a deep reasoner. Can be steadfast, but withers under ridicule. Most admires in Jesus: His supernal tenderness. He never forgets the lesson of forgiveness, not seven times but seventy times seven.
JAMES ZEBEDEE: He best grasps the import and real significance of Jesus’ teachings, age 30. Married, four children, lives near parents in Bethsaida. Strengths: Well-balanced thinker and planner. Vigorous personality, an unpretentious server, brave and determined. Next to Peter, the best public speaker of the twelve. Weaknesses: Fiery temper and spells of unaccountable silence. Most admires in Jesus: The sympathetic affection of the Master, his untiring interest and understanding of the small and the great, the rich and the poor.
JOHN ZEBEDEE: Personal agent of Jesus in dealing with his family, age 24. Youngest of the apostles, unmarried, lives with parents at Bethsaida. Strengths: Cool and daring courage, remarkable creative imagination, solidly dependable. Weaknesses: Conceit, inappropriate self-esteem. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s love and unselfishness. He is to become the apostle of love.
PHILIP: “The curious.” He is the steward of the group, supplies provisions, age 27. A fisherman, married, no children as yet, will eventually have three boys and four girls. Strengths: Methodical thoroughness, can do ordinary things in a big way. A persuasive and successful personal worker. Weaknesses: Lacks imagination, a slow thinker, tends to ask foolish questions. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s unfailing generosity.
NATHANIEL: “Honest Nathaniel,” age 25, the philosopher of the twelve. He attends to the needs of their families. Unmarried, sole support of aged and infirm parents in Cana. Six brothers and sisters, once planned to become a merchant. Strengths: Next to Judas Iscariot, the best educated of the apostles, the best storyteller. Can relieve situations with his droll humor. Honest and sincere, takes Jesus and the kingdom seriously, but not himself. He is proud, but not obstinate. Weaknesses: Tends to be a dreamer. Most admires in Jesus: The Master’s enduring tolerance.
MATTHEW LEVI: Chosen by Andrew, called the “money-getter” by the apostles, he is the fund raiser for the group, age 31. He was a customs collector in Capernaum. Married, four children. Strengths: Wholehearted devotion to the cause of Jesus, good businessman, social mixer, generous. Weaknesses: Shortsighted and materialistic. Most admires in Jesus: His forgiving disposition.
THOMAS DIDYMUS: Arranges and manages itinerary, age 29. Chosen by Philip. A fisherman, married, four children. Strengths: The one truly analytical mind of the twelve, superbly honest and loyal. One of the bravest apostles, a good businessman and executive. Weaknesses: A product of an unhappy family life, disagreeable and quarrelsome, suspicious and doubting, at times despondent and depressed. Most admires in Jesus: His superbly balanced character.
SIMON ZELOTES: In charge of group diversions and relaxation, age 28. Chosen by Peter. At one time an officer in patriotic Zealot’s organization. Merchant, unmarried, lives with family in Capernaum. Strengths: Inspirational loyalty, warm personal devotions. Weaknesses: Material mindedness, likes to argue. Most admires in Jesus: Calmness, assurance, poise, composure.
JUDAS ISCARIOT: Treasurer of the group, age 30. Chosen by Nathaniel. Unmarried, son of wealthy Jewish parents, disowned by his parents because of his attachment to John the Baptist. The best educated of the apostles. Was a spoiled, pampered child. Strengths: Skillful businessman, a good but not always honest thinker. Weaknesses: Egoistic, a poor loser, seeks revenge. Defective sense of loyalties and values. Intellectual understanding of the kingdom, but lack of spiritual progress. Most admires in Jesus: His charming personality.
JAMES AND JUDAS ALPHEUS: (Also called Thaddeus and Lebbeus.) The “twins,” 26 years of age, are the managers of the multitudes. Chosen by James and John. Common fisherfolk, live near Kheresa. Both married, James is father of three children, Judas has two. Strengths: Big hearted, generous, good natured and faithful. Weaknesses: Somewhat lacking in intelligence and spiritual scope, but sincere and loyal. Most admire in Jesus: His simplicity, humility and accessibility.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.)