When Did Jesus Disciples Become Apostles?

When Did Jesus’ Disciples Become Apostles?

Jesus had many followers during his ministry on earth. Among them were twelve men who became known as his disciples. These disciples were chosen by Jesus himself and were tasked with spreading the good news of the Gospel after his death and resurrection.

But when did these disciples become known as apostles? The answer is not straightforward, but there are significant events that led to their transformation.

The Meaning of ‘Apostle’

The word ‘apostle’ comes from the Greek word ‘apostolos’, which means ‘one who is sent out’. In the context of Christianity, an apostle is someone who has been commissioned by Jesus to spread his teachings and establish churches.

The Appointment of the Twelve Disciples

During Jesus’ ministry, he chose twelve men to be his closest followers. These men were Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.

These twelve men were selected by Jesus to be with him throughout his ministry on earth. They witnessed many miracles performed by Jesus and heard him teach on a wide range of topics. They were also present at important events such as the Last Supper and Jesus’ crucifixion.

The Great Commission

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, he appeared to his disciples several times. On one occasion, he gave them a mission that would transform them from mere disciples into apostles:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

This mission, known as the Great Commission, was a call to action for the disciples. They were no longer just followers of Jesus, but now had a specific task to accomplish. This marked the beginning of their transformation into apostles.

The Replacement of Judas Iscariot

One of the twelve disciples, Judas Iscariot, betrayed Jesus and later hanged himself in remorse. This left a vacancy among the twelve. In Acts chapter 1, we read about how this vacancy was filled:

“For,” said Peter, “it is written in the book of Psalms: “‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “‘May another take his place of leadership.’ Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us..

So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry.'” (Acts 1:20-21a,23-24)

The disciples recognized that Judas’ position needed to be filled so that there would still be twelve apostles. Matthias was ultimately chosen by lot to fill this role.

The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit

The final event that cemented the disciples’ transformation into apostles was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. In Acts chapter 2, we read about how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples in a powerful way:

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.

They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:1-4)

This event gave the disciples boldness and power to proclaim the Gospel message to people from all over the world who had gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. This was a turning point for the disciples, who were now fully equipped to carry out their mission as apostles.

In Conclusion

The transformation of Jesus’ disciples into apostles was a gradual process that occurred over several important events. From their appointment as disciples during Jesus’ ministry, to their commissioning by Jesus in the Great Commission, to their replacement of Judas Iscariot, and finally to their empowerment by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, these events gave them everything they needed to become effective apostles who would spread the Gospel message throughout the world.