Bible Study Fellowship did not go into detail on the disciples and their call, which is important so I’m putting my notes out there for all.
First thing we see about the disciples is their diverse backgrounds and the fact none of them are upper class/aristocratic. All are from very humble backgrounds.
God equips those He calls. Jesus gave them the power to drive out evil spirits and to heal.
This is the first and only time Matthew calls the 12 “apostles” which is a Greek word meaning “one sent out”. Jesus is called an apostle (Hebrews 3:1) but Paul uses the word most often to refer to the 12 only.
The disciples are listed 4 times in the Gospels (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16; Acts 1:13). In these lists, Peter is always first and Judas Iscariot is always last. The two pairs of brothers are always listed first (Peter and Andrew and James and John).
They seem to be paired into three groups of four (Matthew, as you may recall, likes the number 3), each with a leader:
1) Peter with Andrew, James and John
2) Philip with Bartholomew, Thomas, and Matthew
3) James son of Alphaeus with Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas
Notice there are 12 disciples, matching the 12 tribes of Israel. Notice too how Jesus still refers to his people as Israel (Matthew 10:6) even though Israel as a country has ceased to exist for a while now. In God’s mind, His people are still Israelites.
Note how Matthew called them first disciples and then apostles in Matthew 10:1-2. First, you must learn about God and then you are sent out to convert others to Him.
The disciples start out small and local and then expand from there. It is not yet time to tell the world. It is time to impact those around them. A good lesson for us. We don’t have to impact hundreds. Yet. If we impact a few, over time those few will impact few and so on and through us we will impact hundreds.
So many of us get caught up in the big picture. Start small. The rest will follow.