The twelve apostles

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Toma je na neki način nalikovao Filipu; dok je uvijek htio "da mu se pokaže," njegovi spoljašnji izrazi sumnjičanja počivaju na posve drugačijim intelektualnim operacijama. Toma je bio analitičan, a ne samo skeptičan. U pogledu osobne fizičke hrabrosti, bio je jedan od najhrabrijih apostola.

Toma je imao svoje loše dane; s vremena na vrijeme je bio tužan i potišten. Prošao je kroz veliku mladalačku patnju zbog gubitka sestre blizankinje u devetoj godini, što je uveliko dodalo njegovim kasnijim temperamentalnim problemima. Svakom prilikom kad bi klonuo duhom, u pomoć bi mu pritekli bilo Natanael, Petar ili vrlo često, jedan od Alefejevih blizanaca. Na žalost, kad god je bio u najdubljoj depresiji, Toma je izbjegavao direktan kontakt s Isusom. Ali Učitelj je bio dobro upoznat s ovim problemima i pun suosjećajne naklonosti prema ovom apostolu koji je patio od depresije i progona vlastitim sumnjama.

Andrija bi nekon prilikom dopustio da se Toma osami na nekoliko dana. Ali Toma je brzo naučio da ovo nije bilo mudro činiti; rano je otkrio da mu se pri svakom napadu potištenosti najbolje bilo držati svojih aktivnosti i ostati u blizini svojih prijatelja. Ali unatoč svemu što se događalo u njegovom emocionalnom životu, zadržao je svoju apostolsku poziciju. Kad bi došlo vrijeme da se krene dalje, uvijek je bio taj koji je govorio, "Idemo!"

Toma predstavlja odličan primjer čovjeka obuzetog sumnjama koji zna suočiti i pobjediti svoje sumnje. Imao je veličanstven um; nije bio zanovijetan kritičar. Bio je logičan mislilac,

apostles. If Jesus and his work had not been genuine, it could not have held a man like Thomas from the start to the finish. He had a keen and sure sense of fact. At the first appearance of fraud or deception Thomas would have forsaken them all. Scientists may not fully understand all about Jesus and his work on earth, but there lived and worked with the Master and his human associates a man whose mind was that of a true scientist -- Thomas Didymus -- and he believed in Jesus of Nazareth.

Thomas had a trying time during the days of the trial and crucifixion. He was for a season in the depths of despair, but he rallied his courage, stuck to the apostles, and was present with them to welcome Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. For a while he succumbed to his doubting depression but eventually rallied his faith and courage. He gave wise counsel to the apostles after Pentecost and, when persecution scattered the believers, went to Cyprus, Crete, the North African coast, and Sicily, preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom and baptizing believers. And Thomas continued preaching and baptizing until he was apprehended by the agents of the Roman government and was put to death in Malta. Just a few weeks before his death he had begun the writing of the life and teachings of Jesus.

9 and 10. JAMES AND JUDAS ALPHEUS

James and Judas the sons of Alpheus, the twin fishermen living near Kheresa, were the ninth and tenth apostles and were chosen by James and John Zebedee. They were twenty-six years old and married, James having three children, Judas two.

There is not much to be said about these two commonplace fisherfolk. They loved their Master and Jesus loved them, but they never interrupted his discourses with questions. They understood very little about the philosophical discussions or the theological debates of their fellow apostles, but they rejoiced to find themselves numbered among such a group of mighty men. These two men were almost identical in personal appearance, mental characteristics, and extent of spiritual perception. What may be said of one should be recorded of the other.

Andrew assigned them to the work of policing the multitudes. They were the chief ushers of the preaching hours and, in fact, the general servants and errand boys of the twelve. They helped Philip with the supplies, they carried money to the families for Nathaniel, and always were they ready to lend a helping hand to any one of the apostles.
The multitudes of the common people were greatly encouraged to find two like themselves honored with places among the apostles. By their very acceptance as apostles these mediocre twins were the

najoštriji test istinitosti Isusa i njegovih apostola. Isus i njegov rad ne bi bili u stanju zadržati osobu poput Tome da nisu bili nepatvoreni i istiniti od početka do kraja. Imao je oštar i siguran osjećaj za stvarnost. Da je ikad naišao na nešto lažno ili prijevarno, Toma ne bi ostao s njima. Dok znanstvenici ne moraju biti u stanju potpuno razumjeti Isusa i njegov rad na zemlji, s Učiteljem i s njegovim prijateljima je živio je i radio čovjek s umom pravog znanstvenika -- Toma Didimus -- i on je vjerovao u Isusa iz Nazareta.


Toma je teško podnio Isusovu kušnju i raspeće. Dok je neko vrijeme bio na samom dnu očajanja, uspio je prikupiti hrabrost, držati se uz apostole i biti s njima kad su dočekali Isusa na Genezaretskom jezeru. Neko vrijeme je bio podlijegao sumnjičanju i depresiji, ali je s vremenom prikupio vjeru i hrabrost. Mudro se savjetovao s apostolima nakon Duhova i kad su se uoči progona svi rasuli na svoju stranu, otišao je na Kipar, Kretu, sjevernoafričku obalu i Siciliju, objavljujući radosnu vijest kraljevstva i krsteći vjernike. I nastavio je propovijedati i krstiti sve dok ga agenti Rimske vlasti nisu uhitili i stavili u tamnicu na Malti. Počeo je pisati o Isusovom životu i učenjima tek nekoliko tjedana prije smrti.

9 i 10. JAKOV I JUDA ALFEJEVI

Jakov i Juda, Alfejevi sinovi blizanci i ribari koji su živjeli u blizini Kerese, predstavljaju devetog i desetog apostola, izabranike Jakova i Ivana Zebedejevih. Imali su dvadeset šest godina i bili su oženjeni; Jakov je imao troje, a Juda dvoje djece.

Nije moguće opširnije govoriti o ovoj dvojici svagdašnjih ribara. Dok su voljeli Učitelja i dok je Isus volio njih, nikad nisu prekinuli njegova predavanja ni jednim jedinim pitanjem. Razumjeli su jedino mali dio filozofskih rasprava i teoloških debata svojih prijatelja apostola, ali ih je radovalo to što su bili pripadnici apostolske grupe velikih ljudi. Imali su gotovo identičan izgled, mentalne osobine i mjeru duhovnog razumijevanja. Što se može reći o jednom, treba zabilježiti i o drugom.

Andrija im je dao zadatak da održavaju red među masama. Objavljivali su čas propovijedi djelujući kao opći služitelji i potrčkala apostolske grupe. Pomagali su Filipu s nabavkama, slali novce obiteljima u Natanaelovo im i uvijek bili spremni priskočiti u pomoć svakom pojedinom apostolu.

Brojni pripadnici svagdašnjih ljudi koji nalikuju ovim osobama nalaze veliko ohrabrenje što su ova blizanci bili počašćeni apostolskim pozicijama. Sama apostolska postavka ovih dvaju prosječnih

means of bringing a host of fainthearted believers into the kingdom. And, too, the common people took more kindly to the idea of being directed and managed by official ushers who were very much like themselves.

James and Judas, who were also called Thaddeus and Lebbeus, had neither strong points nor weak points. The nicknames given them by the disciples were good-natured designations of mediocrity. They were "the least of all the apostles"; they knew it and felt cheerful about it.

James Alpheus especially loved Jesus because of the Master's simplicity. These twins could not comprehend the mind of Jesus, but they did grasp the sympathetic bond between themselves and the heart of their Master. Their minds were not of a high order; they might even reverently be called stupid, but they had a real experience in their spiritual natures. They believed in Jesus; they were sons of God and fellows of the kingdom.

Judas Alpheus was drawn toward Jesus because of the Master's unostentatious humility. Such humility linked with such personal dignity made a great appeal to Judas. The fact that Jesus would always enjoin silence regarding his unusual acts made a great impression on this simple child of nature.

The twins were good-natured, simple-minded helpers, and everybody loved them. Jesus welcomed these young men of one talent to positions of honor on his personal staff in the kingdom because there are untold millions of other such simple and fear-ridden souls on the worlds of space whom he likewise wishes to welcome into active and believing fellowship with himself and his outpoured Spirit of Truth. Jesus does not look down upon littleness, only upon evil and sin. James and Judas were little, but they were also faithful. They were simple and ignorant, but they were also big-hearted, kind, and generous.

And how gratefully proud were these humble men on that day when the Master refused to accept a certain rich man as an evangelist unless he would sell his goods and help the poor. When the people heard this and beheld the twins among his counselors, they knew of a certainty that Jesus was no respecter of persons. But only a divine institution -- the kingdom of heaven -- could ever have been built upon such a mediocre human foundation!

Only once or twice in all their association with Jesus did the twins venture to ask questions in public. Judas was once intrigued into asking Jesus a question when the Master had talked about revealing himself openly to the world. He felt a little disappointed that there were to be no more secrets among the twelve, and he made bold to ask: "But, Master, when you do thus declare yourself to the

svagdašnjih blizanaca otvara vrata kraljevstva velikom broju malodušnih vjernika. Svagdašnji ljudi su štoviše lakše prihvaćali upravu od službenika koji su im toliko nalikovali.

Jakov i Juda, poznati kaoTedija i Lebija, nisu imali jakih ili slabih osobina. Apostoli su im dali nadimke koji jedino dobronamjerno govore o njihovoj prosječnosti. Bili su "najniži među apostolima," što su znali i što im nije smetalo.

Jakov Alfejev je naročito volio Isusa zbog Učiteljeve jednostavnosti. Dok blizanci nisu mogli shvatiti Isusov um, mogli su pojmiti suosjećajnu sponu koja ih je vezivala s Učiteljevim srcem. Nisu bili velikog uma; dok se štoviše s poštovanjem mogu nazvati priglupim, oni nose istinsko iskustvo u okviru svoje duhovne prirode. Vjerovali su u Isusa; bili su božji sinovi i pripadnici kraljevstva.

Isusova nerazmetljiva poniznost predstavlja to što je privuklo Judu Alfejevog. Takva poniznost, zajedno s velikim osobnim dostojanstvom, ostavlja snažan dojam na Judu. Ovo jednostavno djete prirode jako cijeni to što je Isus uvijek molio sve primatelje svojih nesvakidašnjih djela da o njima nikom ne govore.

Blizanci su bili dobroćudni, prostoumni služitelji koje su svi voljeli. Isus je primio ove mladiće ograničenog talenta na visoke pozicije svog privatnog osoblja zbog toga što na svjetovima prostora žive neizrecivi milijuni drugih sličnih jednostavnih i bojažljivih duša kojima također želi izraziti dobrodošlicu u aktivan kolegijum vjernika sa sobom i svojim odaslanim Duhom Istine. Isus ne gleda s prezirom na malenkost, već jedino na zlo i grijeh. Dok su Jakov i Juda uistinu bili mali, bili su vjerni. Bili su jednostavni i neuki, ali su istovremeno imali velika srca, ljubeznost i darežljivost.

I ovi su jednostavni ljudi bili tako zahvalno ponosni kad je Gospodin odbio primiti određenog bogataša u redove svojih evanđelista prije nego proda svoje bogatstvo i pomogne siromasima. Kad je svijet ovo čuo i ugledao blizance među njegovim glasnicima, znali su zasigurno da Isus ne pravi razliku među ljudima. Ali jedino božanska institucija -- nebesko kraljevstvo -- ikad može biti izgrađena na tako prosječnom ljudskom temelju!

Blizanci su se jedino dva puta kroz cijeli svoj kontakt s Isusom usudili postaviti javna pitanja. Judu je jednom radoznalost navela da postavi pitanje dok je Učitelj govorio o svom otvorenom otkrivenju cijelom svijetu. Bio je pomalo razočaran što više neće biti tajni koje pripadaju jedino apostolima kad je upitao: "Ali, Učitelju, kad ti sebe tako objaviš svijetu, kako ćeš onda nama ukazati pristranost pred

world, how will you favor us with special manifestations of your goodness?"

The twins served faithfully until the end, until the dark days of trial, crucifixion, and despair. They never lost their heart faith in Jesus, and (save John) they were the first to believe in his resurrection. But they could not comprehend the establishment of the kingdom. Soon after their Master was crucified, they returned to their families and nets; their work was done. They had not the ability to go on in the more complex battles of the kingdom. But they lived and died conscious of having been honored and blessed with four years of close and personal association with a Son of God, the sovereign maker of a universe.

11. SIMON THE ZEALOT

Simon Zelotes, the eleventh apostle, was chosen by Simon Peter. He was an able man of good ancestry and lived with his family at Capernaum. He was twenty-eight years old when he became attached to the apostles. He was a fiery agitator and was also a man who spoke much without thinking. He had been a merchant in Capernaum before he turned his entire attention to the patriotic organization of the Zealots.

Simon Zelotes was given charge of the diversions and relaxation of the apostolic group, and he was a very efficient organizer of the play life and recreational activities of the twelve.

Simon's strength was his inspirational loyalty. When the apostles found a man or woman who floundered in indecision about entering the kingdom, they would send for Simon. It usually required only about fifteen minutes for this enthusiastic advocate of salvation through faith in God to settle all doubts and remove all indecision, to see a new soul born into the "liberty of faith and the joy of salvation."
Simon's great weakness was his material-mindedness. He could not quickly change himself from a Jewish nationalist to a spiritually minded internationalist. Four years was too short a time in which to make such an intellectual and emotional transformation, but Jesus was always patient with him.

The one thing about Jesus which Simon so much admired was the Master's calmness, his assurance, poise, and inexplicable composure.

Although Simon was a rabid revolutionist, a fearless firebrand of agitation, he gradually subdued his fiery nature until he became a powerful and effective preacher of "Peace on earth and good will among men." Simon was a great debater; he did like to argue. And when it came to dealing with the legalistic minds of the educated Jews or the intellectual

svijetom ako više ne posjedujemo naročita ispoljenja tvoje dobrote?"


Blizanci su vjerno služili do samoga kraja, do tamnih dana kušnje, raspeća i očajanja. U svom srcu nikad nisu izgubili vjeru u Isusa i (izuzev Ivana) prvi su vjerovali u njegovo uzašašće. Ali oni nisu bili u stanju shvatiti utemeljenje kraljevstva. Uskoro nakon Učiteljevog raspeća, vratili su se svojim obiteljima i mrežama; njihov rad je bio završen. Nisu imali sposobnosti da se upuste u složenije borbe u korist kraljevstva. Živjeli su i umrli su svjesni da su bili počašćeni i blaženi s četiri godine bliskog i osobnog druženja s Božjim Sinom, suverenim stvoriteljem svemira.
11. ŠIMUN REVNITELJ

Šimuna Revnitelja, jedanaestog apostola, je izabrao Šimun Petar. Bio je to sposoban čovjek iz dobre linije predaka koji je živio sa svojom obitelji u Kafarnaumu. Bilo mu je dvadest osam godina kad se pridružio apostolima. Bio je žustar agitator koji je imao jezik brži od pameti. Isprva je bio trgovac u Kafarnaumu, dok se zatim u cjelosti posvetio patriotskoj organizaciji Revnitelja.

Šimun Revnitelj je bio zadužen za razonodu i relaksaciju apostolske grupe i pokazao se vrlo uspješnim prilikom organizacije rekreativnih aktivnosti apostolske grupe.
Šimunova snaga počiva u inspirativnoj odanosti. Apostoli bi poslali po Šimuna pri svakom susretu s muškarcima i ženama koji su se neodlučno dvoumili ne znajući da li da uđu u kraljevstvo. Ovom entuzijastičnom zagovaratelju spasenja kroz vjeru u Boga obično nije trebalo više od petnaest minuta da odagna sumnje, porazi neodlučnost i da ugleda novu dušu rođenu u "slobodi vjere i radosti spasenja."
Šimunova velika slabost počiva u njegovom materijalističkom stanovištu. Nije mu se bilo lako promijeniti od židovskog nacionaliste u duhovnog internacionalistu. Dok su četiri godine bile prekratko vrijeme za ovu intelektualnu i emocionalnu preobrazbu, Isus je uvijek bio strpljiv sa Šimunom.

Jedna velika stvar u vezi s Isusom i ono što je Šimun jako volio počiva u Učiteljevom spokojstvu, sigurnosti, uravnoteženosti i neizrecivoj sabranosti.


Iako je bio mahniti revolucionar, neustrašivi agitator, Šimun je postupno naučio podjarmiti svoju usijanu prirodu i postati snažan i uspješan propovjednik "slave Boga na visini i na zemlji mira ljudima koje ljubi." Šimun je odlično znao voditi rasprave; nije se volio svađati. I kad se trebalo nositi s obrazovanim Židovima koji su se strogo držali slova

quibblings of the Greeks, the task was always assigned to Simon.


He was a rebel by nature and an iconoclast by training, but Jesus won him for the higher concepts of the kingdom of heaven. He had always identified himself with the party of protest, but he now joined the party of progress, unlimited and eternal progression of spirit and truth. Simon was a man of intense loyalties and warm personal devotions, and he did profoundly love Jesus.

Jesus was not afraid to identify himself with business men, laboring men, optimists, pessimists, philosophers, skeptics, publicans, politicians, and patriots.

The Master had many talks with Simon, but he never fully succeeded in making an internationalist out of this ardent Jewish nationalist. Jesus often told Simon that it was proper to want to see the social, economic, and political orders improved, but he would always add: "That is not the business of the kingdom of heaven. We must be dedicated to the doing of the Father's will. Our business is to be ambassadors of a spiritual government on high, and we must not immediately concern ourselves with aught but the representation of the will and character of the divine Father who stands at the head of the government whose credentials we bear." It was all difficult for Simon to comprehend, but gradually he began to grasp something of the meaning of the Master's teaching.

After the dispersion because of the Jerusalem persecutions, Simon went into temporary retirement. He was literally crushed. As a nationalist patriot he had surrendered in deference to Jesus' teachings; now all was lost. He was in despair, but in a few years he rallied his hopes and went forth to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom.

He went to Alexandria and, after working up the Nile, penetrated into the heart of Africa, everywhere preaching the gospel of Jesus and baptizing believers. Thus he labored until he was an old man and feeble. And he died and was buried in the heart of Africa.

12. JUDAS ISCARIOT

Judas Iscariot, the twelfth apostle, was chosen by Nathaniel. He was born in Kerioth, a small town in southern Judea. When he was a lad, his parents moved to Jericho, where he lived and had been employed in his father's various business enterprises until he became interested in the preaching and work of John the Baptist. Judas' parents were Sadducees, and when their son joined John's disciples, they disowned him.

zakona ili s intelektualnim smicalicama Grka, zadatak je uvijek pripisivan Šimunu.


Dok je Šimun bio buntovnik obučen u odijelo ikonoklaste, Isus ga je uspio pridobiti na stranu viših predodžbi nebeskog kraljevstva. Šimun se uvijek poistovjećivao sa strankom protesta, dok je u ovom slučaju prišao stranci napretka, neograničenog i vječnog napredka duha i istine. Šimun je bio čovjek snažne odanosti i tople osobne privrženosti koji je jako volio Isusa.

Isus se nije bojao poistovijetiti s poslovnim ljudima, radnicima, optimistima, pesimistima, filozofima, skepticima, publikanima, političarima i patriotima.

Gospodin je mnogo puta razgovarao s Šimunom, ali nikad nije posve uspio preokrenuti ovog vatrenog židovskog nacionaistu u internacionalistu. Isus je često govorio Šimunu da je dobro težiti promjeni društvenog, ekonomskog i političkog ustrojstva, dok je uvijek dodavao: "Ali ovo nije posao nebeskog kraljevstva. Mi moramo biti odani izvršenju Očeve volje. Mi trebamo djelovati u ulozi poslanika duhovne vlade neba i mi se ne smijemo neposredno zanimati s bilo čim izuzev reprezentacije volje i karaktera nebeskog Oca koji stoji na čelu vlade čiju svjedodžbu nosimo." Šimunu je isprva bilo teško sve ovo shvatiti, dok je s vremenom djelomično shvatio značenje Učiteljevog nauka.

Kad su se apostoli uoči Jeruzalemskih progona razišli svaki na svoju stranu, Šimun se privremeno povukao s pozicije. Bio je doslovno slomljen. Kao nacionalistički patriot odrekao se svojih uvjerenja u korist Isusovih učenja; sad je sve bilo izgubljeno. Bio je očajan, ali je kroz nekoliko godina prikupio nade i pošao u proglašenje evanđelja nebeskog kraljevstva.

Otišao je u Aleksandriju i nakon što je radio u dolini Nila, stigao je do samog srca Afrike, gdje je propovijedao Isusovo evanđelje i krstio vjernike. I tako je radio sve dok nije ostario i onemoćao. Preminuo je i bio sahranjen u srcu Afrike.




  1. JUDA ISKARIOT

Juda Iskariot, dvanaesti apostol, je izabran od Natanaela. Rođen je u Keriotu, gradiću južne Judeje. Za njegove mladosti, Judini roditelji su se preselili u Jeriho, gdje je živio i radio za svog oca u raznim poslovnim poduhvatima, sve dok se nije počeo zanimati za učenja i rad Ivana Krstitelja. Judini roditelji su bili Saduceji koji su ga razbaštinili nakon što je prišao Ivanovim učenicima.

When Nathaniel met Judas at Tarichea, he was seeking employment with a fish-drying enterprise at the lower end of the Sea of Galilee. He was thirty years of age and unmarried when he joined the apostles. He was probably the best-educated man among the twelve and the only Judean in the Master's apostolic family. Judas had no outstanding trait of personal strength, though he had many outwardly appearing traits of culture and habits of training. He was a good thinker but not always a truly honest thinker. Judas did not really understand himself; he was not really sincere in dealing with himself.

Andrew appointed Judas treasurer of the twelve, a position which he was eminently fitted to hold, and up to the time of the betrayal of his Master he discharged the responsibilities of his office honestly, faithfully, and most efficiently.

There was no special trait about Jesus which Judas admired above the generally attractive and exquisitely charming personality of the Master. Judas was never able to rise above his Judean prejudices against his Galilean associates; he would even criticize in his mind many things about Jesus. Him whom eleven of the apostles looked upon as the perfect man, as the "one altogether lovely and the chiefest among ten thousand," this self-satisfied Judean often dared to criticize in his own heart. He really entertained the notion that Jesus was timid and somewhat afraid to assert his own power and authority.

Judas was a good business man. It required tact, ability, and patience, as well as painstaking devotion, to manage the financial affairs of such an idealist as Jesus, to say nothing of wrestling with the helter-skelter business methods of some of his apostles. Judas really was a great executive, a farseeing and able financier. And he was a stickler for organization. None of the twelve ever criticized Judas. As far as they could see, Judas Iscariot was a matchless treasurer, a learned man, a loyal (though sometimes critical) apostle, and in every sense of the word a great success. The apostles loved Judas; he was really one of them. He must have believed in Jesus, but we doubt whether he really loved the Master with a whole heart. The case of Judas illustrates the truthfulness of that saying: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death." It is altogether possible to fall victim to the peaceful deception of pleasant adjustment to the paths of sin and death. Be assured that Judas was always financially loyal to his Master and his fellow apostles. Money could never have been the motive for his betrayal of the Master.




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