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The Real Story of Jesus and the Twelve

How did Jesus Choose his Apostles? by Jack Wellman

Learning more about the apostles of Jesus is an important study, and helps us understand more about how Jesus planned his public ministry using ordinary people of his day - and they WERE ordinary folk. Read our blog below which points us to The Urantia Book's story of the choosing of the Apostles ... but first, here's a snippent from this article that caught my attention. The author, of course, depends only upon the Bible for his information.

"Jesus didn't immediately choose the twelve Apostles. He first went to pray about it and this was no short two minute prayer because "he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12). This was an incredibly important decision so Jesus prayed all night long and only then "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" (Luke 6:13-16)."

Click to read this article in full


Jesus' Apostles - The Rest of the Story

The author of the article referenced above cannot be faulted for his lack of knowledge; the Bible has been the only source of real information about Jesus that the world has had for centuries. But now, The Urantia Book fills in all the blanks in the above stories from the Bible, and helps us appreciate just how much care and preparation went into the gathering and the organization of this band of apostles in whom Jesus placed so much trust.

In The Urantia Book accounts, the choosing and training of the apostles was actually a fairly long, drawn-out affair and took place over the course of one year, from Feb 23 A.D.26 - when the first 4 apostles were chosen, until January 27, A.D. 27, when the ordination of the 12 took place.

Here are the pertinent details from The Urantia Book. Simply click on the links provided to see the story:

The first 4 apostles (Andrew, Simon, James, and John) are chosen by Jesus.

the 4th and 5th apostles (Philip and Nathaniel) are chosen by Jesus the next day

The day after the choosing of the six, the amazing events of Cana took place, during which Jesus' first miracle happened. It, in itself, is truly an amazing event and worth a new look by those who have only read the Biblical account.

Read about The wedding at Cana

Lengthy Training

Following the events of Cana, Jesus engaged his six newly-chosen apostles in a lengthy period of training

What happened during the 4 months of training with the six ( Mar-June of A.D. 26)

And following that period of time, Jesus sent these six newly-trained apostles to perform two weeks of public ministry

138:1.1 The next day, Sunday, June 23, A.D. 26, Jesus imparted his final instructions to the six. He directed them to go forth, two and two, to teach the glad tidings of the kingdom.

And the six went out for 2 weeks in ministry, until early in July.

From The Urantia Book:

138:2.1 This first missionary tour of the six was eminently successful. They all discovered the great value of direct and personal contact with men. They returned to Jesus more fully realizing that, after all, religion is purely and wholly a matter of personal experience. They began to sense how hungry were the common people to hear words of religious comfort and spiritual good cheer. When they assembled about Jesus, they all wanted to talk at once, but Andrew assumed charge, and as he called upon them one by one, they made their formal reports to the Master and presented their nominations for the six new apostles.

Jesus - The Consummate Executive

Here we see the executive management style of the Master. Rather than his choosing all of the apostles himself, he allowed each of the first six to suggest another who would join the group; and in this way, by voting on the new nominees, the band of twelve came to be.

138:2.2 Jesus, after each man had presented his selection for the new apostleships, asked all the others to vote upon the nomination; thus all six of the new apostles were formally accepted by all of the older six. Then Jesus announced that they would all visit these candidates and give them the call to service.
The newly selected apostles were:
1. Matthew Levi, the customs collector of Capernaum, who had his office just to the east of the city, near the borders of Batanea. He was selected by Andrew.
2. Thomas Didymus a fisherman of Tarichea and onetime carpenter and stone mason of Gadara. He was selected by Philip.
3. James Alpheus, a fisherman and farmer of Kheresa, was selected by James Zebedee.
4. Judas Alpheus the twin brother of James Alpheus, also a fisherman, was selected by John Zebedee.
5. Simon Zelotes was a high officer in the patriotic organization of the Zealots, a position which he gave up to join Jesus' apostles. Before joining the Zealots, Simon had been a merchant. He was selected by Peter.
6. Judas Iscariot was an only son of wealthy Jewish parents living in Jericho. He had become attached to John the Baptist, and his Sadducee parents had disowned him. He was looking for employment in these regions when Jesus' apostles found him, and chiefly because of his experience with finances, Nathaniel invited him to join their ranks. Judas Iscariot was the only Judean among the twelve apostles.

The 12 apostles did not begin working tgether until August of 26 A.D.

Read about the First work of the Twelve

During this time, Jesus went out with the apostles in pairs, 2-by-2, for two weeks of ministry. This continued for the next 5 months, into January of A.D 27, when Jesus called the 12 to the Ordination

Ordination of the 12

Read about the Organization of the 12

A Story Found Nowhere Else

And so, once again, we see the value of The Urantia Book in helping us understand better the life of Jesus and how he carefully planned his public ministry. Far from simply being chosen, the twelve were also taught and trained in the realities of Jesus' kingdom of heaven so that they could carry the message properly.

Nowhere else in the world will you be able to get to know the Apostles as intimately as you will be able to discover them in The Urantia Book. Each one was a unique and valuable member of Jesus' team. Even Judas Iscariot played his part in the beginning; it was only later that he made his break with Jesus, over a series of disappointments and conflicts that took place mainly in his own mind.

Here is a study of this traitorous apostle, and how his disaffection came to be.

Please see our TruthBook study on the apostles

Finally - here is the entire Paper 139 - an amazing character study of each apostle.


Again, these Urantia Book narratives of the choosing of the apostles, their training, their first work, and their unique personality traits are to be found nowhere but in The Urantia Book. If you want to know more about the Apostles, more about Jesus, and more about his real life, you need go no further. Enjoy!

And for the complete story of Jesus amazing life and teachings click here.

Link to External Source Article

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