Con men disciples?

“Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”  Matthew 10:1 NIV

Had the disciples not witnessed the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, do you think they would have executed His directive to establish and grow Christianity?  Of course not!  They would have quickly vanished into normal societal roles and we would have never heard of them again.  However, just the opposite happened–a clear sign that they had known Jesus as the Christ and had been irreversibly changed by Him.  

You may have wondered what happened to all of the disciples.  It wasn’t pretty.  But, wow!  What an impact they had on the entire world and continue to have today!  

Matthew was killed by the sword in Ethiopia.                                                                                                                                   

Mark was dragged by horses until death in Alexandria, Egypt.  

Luke was hanged in Greece.
John was boiled in oil in Rome but miraculously survived, sentenced to prison in Patmos (where he wrote Revelation), and died naturally–the only disciple to do so–in Turkey.   

Peter was crucified; he expressed being unworthy to die the same way as Jesus and asked to be placed upside down.
James was thrown from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple in Jerusalem, only to survive the fall and be clubbed to death;
James, son of Zebedee, was beheaded in Jerusalem; the Roman officer who guarded him asked to be beheaded as a Christian at the same time.  

Bartholomew was flayed to death with a whip in Turkey.

Andrew was crucified in Patras, Greece, after being whipped severely.  Upon being led to the cross he said, I have long desired and expected this happy hour.  The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.  His death required two days, and he preached until dying.  

Thomas was stabbed to death with a spear in India.

Jude was killed by arrows.
Matthias, who took Judas’s place, was stoned and subsequently beheaded.  

You may be surprised by the disciples‘ outcomes.  They lived roughly 40 more years after the first Easter.  They likely knew Jesus better than anyone else.  They were eyewitnesses to His teachings, His miracles, special private moments with Him, His suffering–everything.  Do you have any doubt that Jesus was the Messiah?  The disciples certainly didn’t.  

Prayer:  Dear God, thank you for the disciples who carried Jesus’s message in such a powerful way that it dramatically impacts us some 2,000 years later.  Amen

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