People of the Bible—Followers of Jesus - takes a brief look into the lives of some of the Key People in the Bible, those who were the early Followers of Jesus in the New Testament.
For Info on the Disciples of Jesus Christ go to:
- TWELVE DISCIPLES OF JESUS IN THE BIBLE
ON THIS PAGE:
- JOHN THE BAPTIST
- JAMES - HALF BROTHER OF JESUS
- JUDE - HALF BROTHER OF JESUS
- MARK - JOHN MARK OR MARCUS
- PHILIP THE EVANGELIST
- MARY - 6 MARY'S OF THE BIBLE
John the Baptist was the Forerunner of Jesus; He was beheaded by Herod (Matt 14:1-12)
He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a Priest of the course of Abia (1 Chr 24:10), and his Mother, Elisabeth, was of the Daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the subject of Prophecy (Matt 3:3; Isa 40:3; Mal 3:1). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an Angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80. John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15; Num 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea (Matt 3:1-12).
At length he came forth into public life, and great multitudes from "every quarter" were attracted to him. The sum of his preaching was the necessity of repentance. He denounced the Sadducees and Pharisees as a "generation of vipers," and warned them of the folly of trusting to external privileges (Luke 3:8). "As a preacher, John was eminently practical and discriminating. Self-love and covetousness were the prevalent sins of the people at large. On them, therefore, he enjoined charity and consideration for others. The publicans he cautioned against extortion, the soldiers against crime and plunder." His doctrine and manner of life roused the entire south of Palestine, and the people from all parts flocked to the place where he was, on the banks of the Jordan. There he baptized thousands unto repentance.
The fame of John reached the ears of Jesus in Nazareth (Matt 3:5), and he came from Galilee to Jordan to be baptized of John, on the special ground that it became him to "fulfill all righteousness" (Matt 3:15). John's special office ceased with the baptism of Jesus, who must now "increase" as the King come to his kingdom. He continued, however, for a while to bear testimony to the Messiahship of Jesus. He pointed him out to his Disciples, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God." His Public ministry was suddenly (after about six months probably) brought to a close by his being cast into prison by Herod, whom he had reproved for the sin of having taken to himself the wife of his brother Philip (Luke 3:19). He was shut up in the Castle of Machaerus, a fortress on the southern extremity of Peraea, 9 miles east of the Dead Sea, and here he was beheaded. His disciples, having consigned the headless body to the grave, went and told Jesus all that had occurred (Matt 14:3-12). John's death occurred apparently just before the third Passover of our Lord's ministry. Our Lord himself testified regarding him that he was a "burning and a shining light" (John 5:35).—Easton's Illustrated Dictionary
Paul was an Evangelist, who wrote 13 of the Books of the New Testament. He had formerly been a Pharisee, known as Saul, who was involved in persecuting new Christians by throwing them into Prison. He also held the cloaks of those who were stoning Stephen, one of the first Christian Martyrs (Acts 7:58, Acts 22:20). The Lord Jesus appeared to Saul when he was on his way to Damascus to persecute more Christians. Jesus stopped him in his tracks with a blinding light, and he fell to the ground:
Acts 9:4-6 says "He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting Me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
Paul then became a strong Believer in Jesus Christ, and instead of being zealous to Persecute Believers he Preached the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Paul made three Missionary Journeys around: Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Achaia. He Authored 13 New Testament letters or Books which were— Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon. He might have been the Author of Hebrews too. Paul's letters were written about Jesus Christ and were written to: Churches or people that he knew personally, with the exception of Book of Romans.
Paul spoke boldly about Jesus, and because of his boldness he was: Beaten, Whipped, Stoned, Imprisoned, but it never deterred him from Preaching about Jesus. He was believed to have been the most zealous and hardest working Apostle of all time. Many believe that Paul was beheaded in Rome under Nero in about AD 67.
This James wrote the Book of James— He was a Half-Brother of of the Lord Jesus; or better known as "The Lord's Brother"; he was also the Brother of Jude. He was NOT one of the 2 Main Disciples who were also called James.
The other two James who were a part of the Twelve Disciples were:
1 - James the Greater— Brother of John (Sons of Thunder) - Son of Zebedee
2 - James the Lesser— Son of Alphaeus & "the other Mary"
Gal 1:18-19 "Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days. The only other Apostle I met at that time was James, the Lord’s Brother."
His book may be the earliest of the New Testament writings.
He was also the leader of the Church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13, 21:18).
He was a well-known figure of the Church and Martyred in 62 AD.
Jude wrote the wrote the Book of Jude— He was the Half-Brother of Jesus, and also the James— who wrote the Book of James. Both of these two Authors, James & Jude were NOT one of the 12 Disciples.
Mark - aka "John Mark" was NOT a Disciple; but he served as Peter's interpreter while Peter was imprisoned in Rome. He wrote the Gospel of Mark; the shortest of the Gospels. Barnabas & Mark were *Cousins (see the notes under Barnabas). Mark had accompanied Barnabas and Paul on their first missionary journey as an "attendant". (Acts 13:5). Paul distrusted Mark and refused to take him on their second missionary journey (Acts 15:37-38). The result was two missionary parties. Barnabas took Mark and revisited Cyprus, while Paul chose a new associate, Silas, and went overland to Asia Minor. Mark next appears in Rome, where he is a fellow worker with Paul (Philemon 1:24). He is recommended by the Apostle to the Church at Colosse (Col 4:10). That John Mark had fully reinstated himself with Paul is shown by the latter's statement in
2 Tim 4:11 "Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry."
Peter refers to him as his son Mark— in some Bible Versions he is called Marcus.
1 Peter 5:13 "Your sister church here in Babylon sends you greetings, and so does my son Mark."
This may be a mere expression of affection, or it may indicate that Mark was converted under Peter's Ministry."
Barnabas was an early friend and co-worker of Paul. Luke speaks of him as a "good man" (Acts 11:24). He was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. His Sister Mary was the Mother of Mark. Barnabas and Mark (the Author of the Gospel of Mark) were Cousins*. Barnabas is believed to have been killed about 10 years after Paul.
Col 4:10 "Aristarchus, who is in prison with me, sends you his greetings, and so does Mark,
Barnabas’s Cousin. As you were instructed before, make Mark welcome if he comes your way."
*In the New King James Version Col 4:10 NKJV says that Barnabas & Mark were Cousins— though Barnabas also appears to be Mark's Uncle in the King James Version— Col 4:10 KJV. Perhaps the reason for the conflicting info (from what we found) is that Uncles were also called Cousins.
Timothy was Paul's Spiritual child (1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2). He later became the Apostle's fellow traveler and official representative. Paul had taken Timothy and circumcised him. Paul loved Timothy and admired his outstanding personality-traits (Phil 2:19-22). None of Paul's companions is mentioned as often and is with him as constantly as is Timothy (2 Tim 4:9; 21). He was the offspring of a mixed marriage; a Greek pagan father and a devout Jewish mother, Eunice (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim 1:5), and Grandmother Lois.
Timothy did NOT write the 2 Books of Timothy; Paul had written them to Timothy.
1 Tim 1:1 "This letter is from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, appointed by the command of God our Savior and Christ Jesus, who gives us hope. I am writing to Timothy, my true son in the faith. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace."
2 Tim 1:1-2 "This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 I am writing to Timothy, my dear son. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace..."
Luke was NOT a Disciple. He was a Doctor (a Physician), and he was the Author of the longest of the Four Gospels, the Gospel of Luke— which was the Third Gospel of Jesus Christ. He also wrote the lengthy Book of Acts— and he was the only Gentile Author of the New Testament. Luke is mentioned by name only Three times in the New Testament. Paul speaks of Luke as "Luke the beloved Physician" (Col 4:14)— and one of his "fellow workers" (Philemon 1:24).
Luke was an excellent writer, who clearly articulated in his writings the: Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ, as well as giving us a clear picture of the Early Church in the Book of Acts (Re: the Apostle Peter, the Persecution of the Church, and then into Paul's Missionary Trips to spread the Gospel).
Luke became a traveling companion of Paul going hundreds to thousands of miles with him, and was with Paul on his Missionary Trips to: Troas, Philippi (Acts 20:16)— and He went to Jerusalem with Paul to be arrested and put in Prison. He later went with Paul on their journey to Rome, and was with him as they got shipwrecked off the shores of Malta.
One account states that Luke was hanged in an Olive Tree in Greece, the other that he died of old age.
Silas was a colleague of the Apostle Paul, and both Paul & Silas were Roman citizens (Acts 16:37-38). It says in Acts 15:32 that Silas along with Judas (good Judas) were Prophets.
He was sent to Antioch, along with Paul & Barnabas, to report on the decisions that were made from the Church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:22).
Silas began his journeys with the Apostle Paul after a disagreement arose between Paul & Barnabas (these two had previously been preaching the Gospel together) regarding on whether to bring Barnabas' cousin John Mark (Mark) along. Paul didn't want to bring Mark along for various good reasons, and so this split the Missions trip into two. So Paul selected Silas to be his companion on his 2nd Missionary Trip, and Silas accompanied him through Galatia.
In Philippi, Paul and Silas were stripped and severely beaten with wooden rods, and then thrown into prison for preaching the Gospel ( Acts 16:22-40). But God rescued them by sending a massive earthquake.
Acts 16:22-26 "A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
Silas and Timothy stayed in Berea when Paul continued alone to Athens (Acts 17:14). But Silas rejoined him in Corinth (Acts 18:1-5). Silas was known to be a gifted speaker (Acts 15:32).
Stephen was Stoned to Death (Acts 6 & 7). He was the first of the Christian martyrs. He was one of the seven deacons chosen to help with the food distribution program in the church (Acts 6:3-5). Known for his spiritual qualities of faith, wisdom, grace, and power, and for the Holy Spirit's presence in his life. Outstanding leader, teacher, and debater.
Acts 7:59-60 "As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died."
Titus, a worker with Paul, to whom an Epistle (one of Paul's Letter) is addressed to.
Philip the Evangelist - One of the first to Preach the Gospel outside Jerusalem Acts 8:4-40. This Philip is NOT one of the Twelve Disciples, (John 1:43-44), but a Greek-speaking Jew, "full of the Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:3), who was one of the seven deacons chosen to help with the food distribution program in the church (Acts 6:5).
Source: Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary
Mary— The Mother of Jesus - The wife of Joseph. (Matt 2:11; Acts 1:14). Her genealogy is in Luke 3. She was of the tribe of Judah & the Lineage of David (Ps 132:11; Luke 1:32). She was connected by marriage with Elisabeth, who was of the lineage of Aaron (Luke 1:36). While she resided at Nazareth with her parents, before she became the wife of Joseph, the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the Mother of the promised Messiah (Luke 1:35). After this she went to visit her Cousin Elisabeth, who was living with her Husband Zacharias (probably at Juttah, (Josh 15:55; Josh 21:16), in the neighborhood of Maon), at a considerable distance, about 100 miles, from Nazareth. Immediately on entering the house she was saluted by Elisabeth as the Mother of her Lord, and then forthwith gave utterance to her hymn of thanksgiving (Luke 1:46-56; Compare 1 Sam 2:1-10). After three months Mary returned to Nazareth to her own home. Joseph was supernaturally made aware (Matt 1:18-25) of her condition, and took her to his own home. Soon after this the decree of Augustus (Luke 2:1) required that they should proceed to Bethlehem (Mic 5:2), some 80 or 90 miles from Nazareth; and while they were there they found shelter in the inn or khan provided for strangers (Luke 2:6-7). But as the inn was crowded, Mary had to retire to a place among the cattle, and there she brought forth her Son, who was called Jesus (Matt 1:21), because He was to save His people from their sins. This was followed by the presentation in the Temple, the flight into Egypt, and their return in the following year and residence at Nazareth (Matt 2). There for Thirty Years Mary, the Wife of Joseph the Carpenter, resides, filling her own humble sphere, and pondering over the strange things that had happened to her. During these years only one event in the history of Jesus is recorded, his going up to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, and his being found among the doctors in the Temple (Luke 2:41-52). Probably also during this period Joseph died, for he is not again mentioned.
She was present at the marriage in Cana. A year and a half after this we find her at Capernaum (Matt 12:46-49), where Christ uttered the memorable words, "Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!" The next time we find her is at the cross along with her sister Mary, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and other women (John 19:26). From that hour John took her to his own abode. She was with the little company in the upper room after the Ascension (Acts 1:14). From this time she wholly disappears from public notice.
Mary Magdalene, i.e., Mary of Magdala, a town on the western shore of the Lake of Tiberias. She is for the first time noticed in Luke 8:3 as one of the women who "ministered to Christ of their substance." Their motive was that of gratitude for deliverances he had wrought for them. Out of Mary were cast seven demons. Gratitude to her great Deliverer prompted her to become his follower. These women accompanied him also on his last journey to Jerusalem (Matt 27:55; Mark 15:41; Luke 23:55). They stood near the cross. There Mary remained till all was over, and the body was taken down and laid in Joseph's tomb. Again, in the earliest dawn of the first day of the week she, with Salome and Mary the mother of James (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:2), came to the tomb, bringing with them sweet spices, that they might anoint the body of Jesus. They found the tomb empty, but saw the "vision of angels" (Matt 28:5). She hastens to tell Peter and John, who were probably living together at this time (John 20:1-2), and again immediately returns to the tomb. There she lingers thoughtfully, weeping at the door of the tomb. The risen Lord appears to her, but at first she knows him not. His utterance of her name "Mary" recalls her to consciousness, and she utters the joyful, reverent cry, "Rabboni." She would fain cling to him, but he forbids her, saying, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father." This is the last record regarding Mary of Magdala, who now returned to Jerusalem. The idea that this Mary was "the woman who was a sinner," or that she was unchaste, is altogether groundless.
Mary the Sister of Lazarus & Martha is brought to our notice in connection with the visits of our Lord to Bethany. She is contrasted with her sister Martha, who was "cumbered about many things" while Jesus was their guest, while Mary had chosen "the good part." Her character also appears in connection with the death of her brother (John 11:20,31,33). On the occasion of our Lord's last visit to Bethany, Mary brought "a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus" as he reclined at table in the house of one Simon, who had been a leper (Matt 26:6; Mark 14:3; John 12:2-3). This was an evidence of her overflowing love to the Lord. Nothing is known of her subsequent history. It would appear from this act of Mary's, and from the circumstance that they possessed a family vault (John 11:38), and that a large number of Jews from Jerusalem came to condole with them on the death of Lazarus (John 11:19), that this family at Bethany belonged to the wealthier class of the people.
Wife of Clopas / Alphaeus (these 2 men could be the same person)
Sister of Mary — The Mother of Jesus
Mary the Mother of— James The Less (one of the two Disciples named James the Lesser; & his Brother Joseph or Joses who was not a Disciple). She is the wife of Wife of Clopas / Alphaeus (they think these 2 men could be the same person) who is mentioned (John 19:25) as standing at the Cross in company with Mary of Magdala and Mary the Mother of Jesus. For sure this Mary is the Mother of: one of the Disciple's James the Lesser, but his Father is named Aphaeus (same as the Disciple Matthew's Father) which leaves the reader a bit confused in knowing who exactly this Mary's Husband was? It could be that Clopas and Alphaeus the same person. By comparing Matt 27:56 and Mark 15:40, we find that this Mary and "Mary the Mother of James the Less" are one and the same person, and that she (this Mary) was also the Sister of our Lord's Mother— Mary. This Mary watched from a distance, together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Mary Magdala, when Jesus was Crucified (Matt 27:55-56). She was that "other Mary" who was present with Mary of Magdala at the burial of our Lord (Matt 27:61; Mark 15:47); and she was one of those who went early in the morning of the first day of the week to anoint the body, and thus became one of the first witnesses of the resurrection (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1).
Mary the Mother of John Mark was one of the earliest of our Lord's Disciples. She was the Sister of Barnabas (Col 4:10 KJV), and joined with him in disposing of their land and giving the proceeds of the sale into the Treasury of the Church (Acts 4:37; Acts 12:12). Her house in Jerusalem was the common meeting-place for the Disciples there.
Colossians 4:10 10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
Mary the Christian at Rome treated Paul with special kindness.
Rom 16:6 “Give my greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for your benefit.”
"PEOPLE OF THE BIBLE - FOLLOWERS OF JESUS"
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