Calling the Disciples - John 1:3542
TThe next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, "Look, here is the Lamb of God!" The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, "What are you looking for?" They said to him, "Rabbi" (which translated means Teacher), "where are you staying?" He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o'clock in the afternoon. One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated means Anointed). He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter).
The New Testament has four lists of the Twelve: Mark.3:16-20; Mt.10:2-4; Lk.6:14-16; Acts 1:13. These lists agree substantially as regards eleven of the names. All four lists set out the Twelve in groups of four and the same name always appears at the head of each group: Simon Peter, Philip, and James son of Alphaeus. We get the impression that while the existence of the Twelve, and the nature of their original appointment, were firmly fixed in Christian tradition, some of them were little more than names in the tradition. By the time the gospels came to be written there was even some uncertainty as to who one or two of them were.
The Twelve were a symbolic group, representative of a renewed Israel. The number reflects the twelve sons of Jacob/twelve tribes, a recognised symbol of Israel. There is a widespread mistaken identification of 'Twelve' with 'apostle.' An apostle is one commissioned to preach, one 'sent'. Paul and Barnabas, for instance, were apostles. Peter was both apostle and one of the Twelve. As a symbolic group, the Twelve, as such, have no successors.For Jesus, the Twelve were 'to be with him' - they were to be formed by him, through close personal fellowship. And they were 'to be sent out to proclaim the message'. They thus, in fact, do have the character of apostles. They are models for ministry of the word.
This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists
Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries