THE FIRST APOSTLES - JOHN, ANDREW, JAMES, and SIMON PETER
The book of John tells where the first disciples met Jesus. John, the brother of James, and Andrew, the brother of Simon, were disciples of John the Baptist. Both were fishermen who with their brothers, were business partners.
John and Andrew heard John the Baptist speak about Jesus being God's chosen one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Immediately they began to follow Jesus and realized that he was the Messiah. Andrew told his brother Simon they had found the Messiah and he took him to meet Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "Your name is Simon son of John, but you will be called Cephas." ( This is the same as Peter and means "a rock." )
PHILIP, and NATHANAEL ( Bartholomew )
The next day Jesus went to Galilee and found Philip who was from Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter lived. Jesus said to him, "Come with me!" Philip went and told his friend Nathanael, "We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the book of the Law and whom the prophets also wrote about. He is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth."
"Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see." answered Philip.
When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, he said this about him, "Here is a real Israelite, there is nothing false in him! Nathanael asked him, "How do you know me?" Jesus told him he had seen him under a fig tree before Philip came to him.
"Teacher," answered Nathanael, "you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Jesus said, "Do you believe just because I told you I saw you under the fig tree before Philip had come to you? You will see much greater things than this!"
JAMES and SIMON PETER ( Simon finally believes )
After Jesus returns from being tested by Satan in the desert, he learns that Herod has John the Baptist arrested and thrown into prison because he claimed it was wrong of Herod to marry his brother's wife. Jesus decides to leave Nazareth and go to Galilee and live in Capernaum by the sea. He began to preach with the same words that John spoke: "Turn away from your sins, for the Kingdom of God is near."
As he was preaching on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, people pushed their way up to him to hear the word of God. He saw two boats pulled up on the beach and the fishermen were washing their nets. Jesus got into a boat belonging to Simon Peter and asked him push out a little from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Push the boat out further to the deep water, and you and your fishermen let down your nets for a catch."
Simon answered, "Master, we worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will let down the nets." They did as Jesus had told them and caught such a large number of fish that their nets were about to break.  They called to the fishermen on John's boat to come and help them and they filled both boats with so many fish that they were about to sink.
When Simon Peter saw what had happened, he fell on his knees before Jesus and said, "Go away from me Lord! I am a sinful man!"
Simon Peter, his brother Andrew, and the others with him were all amazed at the large number of fish that they caught. This included Simon's fishing partners, James and his brother John, who were on the other boat with their father Zebedee.
Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."
On that day Simon, Andrew, James, and John pulled up their boats on the beach and left everything with Zebedee and the hired fishermen and followed Jesus.
THE CALLING OF MATTHEW ( Levi )
The disciples that Jesus chose, ( In scripture, they are called disciples until Jesus rises from death, then they are referred to as Apostles ) accompanied him to a wedding he and his mother Mary had been invited to in Cana. Mary persuaded him to quietly make more wine from water for the guests because the hosts ran out of wine.
They also saw Jesus speak in the synagogues and heal many people. One of the people Jesus healed was Simon's mother-in-law.
They saw Jesus challenged by the Pharisees, Scribes and Priests. When people brought a paralyzed man to Jesus, he told him, "Your sins are forgiven."! Jesus knew their thoughts and said, "Why do you question your hearts, asking whether it is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you', or 'Stand up and walk'? "In order that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins," ( Jesus said to the paralyzed man ) "I say to you: Stand up, take your mat, and go home" The man stood up, picked up his mat and started home, glorifying God. All who saw this were amazed and they gave glory to God. The disciples faith in Jesus was strengthened by all these things.
The news about Jesus spread widely, and crowds of people came to hear him and be healed from their diseases. Matthew, who was a tax collector, must have heard of his work and may have already decided to respond quickly to his call. The scripture says that after Jesus healed the paralyzed man, he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting in his office. ( It was common among the Jews to have two names: Levi was another name for Matthew ) Jesus said to him, "Follow me." Levi got up, left everything, and followed him.
Then Levi had a big feast in his house to introduce Jesus to his friends, and among the guests were a large number of tax collectors and other people. Some Pharisees and some teachers of the Law who belonged to their group complained to the disciples asking, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and other outcasts?"
Jesus answered them, "People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous people to repent, but the outcasts.
JESUS CHOOSES THE TWELVE APOSTLES
Jesus continued teaching and healing on the Sabbath and great multitudes of people were coming to see him. This caused trouble for the religious authorities like the Priests, Pharisees, and teachers of the Law. They were jealous of the popularity of Jesus because they had no power to heal or bring a person back to life, but they couldn't ignore the fact that Jesus did all this. Soon they started planning a way to get rid of Jesus.
At this time Jesus went up a hill to pray and spent the whole night praying. In the morning, he gathered all of his disciples together and chose twelve men to be his Apostles who would spread the good news about the Kingdom of Heaven. He gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and every sickness. These are the names of the twelve Apostles chosen by Jesus:
1) Simon, who he named "Peter", the fisherman
2) Andrew, brother of Peter, also a fisherman
3) James, Son of Zebedee, a fisherman
4) John, brother of James, also a Son of Zebedee and a fisherman
5) Philip, was first a disciple of John the Baptist, then followed Jesus.
6) Bartholomew, also known as Nathanael and brought to Jesus by Philip
7) Matthew, also known as Levi, the tax collector
8) Thomas, was also known as Didymus or "the twin"
9) James, son of Alphaneus
10) Simon, (who was called the Zealot)
11) Judas, son of James
12) Judas Iscariot, who became the traitor of Jesus
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January Lazarus And The Rich Man ("about death & believing")
February The Greatest Commandment ("about love")
March The Lost Sheep & The Lost Son ("rejoicing for who has given up their life of sin")
April The Meaning Of Easter - Three Examples From Jesus
May The Worry Of Daily Life
June The Ten Lepers
July The Good Samaritan
August How To Give and How To Pray
September The Un-believing Towns
October Signs Revealing Christ's Return To Earth
November     The Last Supper
December Why We Should Celebrate Christmas
January The Things That Make A Person Unclean
February Marriage, Adultery, and Divorce
April The Coming Persecutions For The Believers
May Jesus Feeds 5000 Men, ( not counting the women and children ) ( part 1 )
June Jesus Walks On The Water ( part 2 )
July The Bread Of Life ( part 3 )
August The Meaning Of The Cross
September Jonah And The Whale
October Jesus And The Devil ( Satan )
November Jesus And The Sabbath ( The Day Of Rest )
December The Christmas Story ( The Birth Of Jesus )
There are at least 66 books that make up the bible. Sometimes, trying to follow a storyline is difficult because there are books that are good for support and prayer like Wisdom, Job, Psalms, and Proverbs. They take you away from the story.
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