The Power of the Disciples
“And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.” Matthew 10:1-4 (KJV).
We could look at the disciples as ambassadors for the King. Ambassadors are chosen by the ruler of their nation, and sent to be representatives of other nations. They are given power by the ruler of the nation they represent. The ministry they do is in the name of the ruler of their country.
According to Matthew Jesus had called unto Him His twelve disciples. We have seen where He called some of them previous to this account. Matthew is called in chapter nine beginning in verse 9. In chapter 4 we see where Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John, and these four are always mentioned first. Peter and Andrew are brothers; and James and John are brothers. These were fishermen, and when they were called were fishing, and mending their nets.
When we have come to faith in Jesus Christ by the power of the Spirit of God, it is because we have been called or chosen by King Jesus to be His disciple as well as a child of God. A disciple is a follower. There are many who do not like to be followers, but that is what a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ is. The disciple of Jesus Christ is a follower of the King.
It is a great honor and priviledge to be called and chosen by the King of heaven, the King of Jerusalem, and the King of souls. This King Jesus is the Lord of our Salvation. He is our Redeemer. When you have been called by Him and chosen by Him it should be counted as a gift of grace, because we are unworthy servants. We are condemned and dying sinners. To be called and chosen by the King means we have been called to turn from our sins and past to follow the King into a the life of grace, faith, glory and power.
If the disciple is also an ambassador representing the King and His kingdom, we are then equipped with the power and authority of the King. There are several times in the New Testament where we are told, “All power/authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” chapter 28:18. “But you shall receive power…” (Acts 1:8). Paul writes to Timothy and said, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). This power comes only from the King Himself. There is another verse which I must not overlook, and that is John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power/the right to become the sons of God, to those who believe on His name”. Where does this power come from? The King.
It seems that we the people of God’s creation are a hungry lot. The thing for which many crave is power to rule. There are some who crave it for the popularity. Some crave it to lord over others, and have all the material possessions that they can cheat or steal away from others, and sometimes that is done by evil governments through taxes. The greatest power of all the the power that is Jesus Christ Himself, and He will not allow His chosen ones to lord over people or to take from them. Those who try will quickly fall.
Resting in the power of Jesus Christ our King, and Him alone is the way of blessing and the glory of the King.
The ministry of King Jesus is the ministry of His disciples or ambassadors. An Ambassador of the United States in the country of Israel is there not representing Israel, but the United States of America. When he appears before the ruling agencies of Israel he presents the desires of the President of the USA, or at least he should. The same is true of an Ambassador to any other country.
What is the ministry of the disciples of the King? They are listed here. The disciple of Jesus Christ has the ministry of casting our “unclean spirits”, and this is done through the power of Jesus’s name. Another ministry is that of healing “all manner of diseases”, and we are not healers, but God in His sovereignty and will does so at His own will and discretion. There is also the ministry of “healing sicknesses”, this is sicknesses such as fevers, even leprosies, etc., but by the power, will and discretion of the Lord Jesus. Now with the first disciples they had that power for the purpose of showing forth the power of Jesus Christ, preparing people for the coming kingdom. It would not surprise me to find out that many of those who applauded Jesus for His healing power and miracles may have been at His trial crying our “Crucify Him, crucify Him”, and they had received such wonders from Him.
These first disciples were given this power to show forth the glory of Jesus as the God-man come to earth. Would the Jews receive Him as their Messiah? He gave orders to the disciples that they take the message only to the “house of Israel” (vv. 5-6). The nation saw the power of Jesus, their Messiah, but they hated Him, rejected Him, tried Him, then hung Him on a cross where He died for the sins of the world.
We may ask what is in the names of these disciples. The first four mentioned are always mentioned first, and are the ones who seemed to have participated most in ministry with Jesus. Jesus’s home base of ministry was in Peter’s home at Capernaum. From the MacArthur Study Bible note on the names,
“10:2 the names of the apostles. The 12 are always listed in a similar order (cf. Mark 3:16; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13). Peter is always named first. The list contains 3 groups of 4. The 3 subgroups are always listed in the same order, and the first name in each subgroup is always the same, though there is some variation in the order within the subgroups–but Judas Iscariot is always named last. Peter…Andrew…James…and John. The first subgroup of 4 are the most familiar to us. These two sets of brothers, all fishermen, represent an inner circle of disciples often seen closest to Jesus.” MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE, p.1409, (NKJV).
Jesus knew these disciples by their names. It is a representative thought that He knows all those who are His by name. He choses and calls us by name; equips us by name, and sends us out by name.
If your name is not known by the King of all creation, then you are in a bad lot. There are some who are going to say, “Well! He knows all people by their names.” I Biblically beg to differ. There is a day coming when He will say, “I never knew you. Depart from me; ye workers of iniquity” (7:23; 25:12; Luke 13:27). We are also told of a book where the names of all He knows are written called the Lamb’s book of life. If your name is not written there, then He does not know you (Revelation 20:27). With Jesus you are not a number, but a name. When you are in Christ Jesus you are as good as in heaven.