Training the Kingdom's Messengers
AFTER preaching the sermon on “The Kingdom,” Jesus called the six apostles together that afternoon and began to disclose his plans for visiting the cities around and about the Sea of Galilee. His brothers James and Jude were very much hurt because they were not called to this conference. Up to this time they had regarded themselves as belonging to Jesus’ inner circle of associates. But Jesus planned to have no close relatives as members of this corps of apostolic directors of the kingdom. This failure to include James and Jude among the chosen few, together with his apparent aloofness from his mother ever since the experience at Cana, was the starting point of an ever-widening gulf between Jesus and his family. This situation continued throughout his public ministry — they very nearly rejected him — and these differences were not fully removed until after his death and resurrection. His mother constantly wavered between attitudes of fluctuating faith and hope, and increasing emotions of disappointment, humiliation, and despair. Only Ruth, the youngest, remained unswervingly loyal to her father-brother.
Until after the resurrection, Jesus’ entire family had very little to do with his ministry. If a prophet is not without honor save in his own country, he is not without understanding appreciation save in his own family.
--Presented by the Midwayer Commission, from the Urantia Papers.
The next day, Sunday, June 23, A.D. 26, Jesus imparted his final instructions to the six.
Choosing the Six
This first missionary tour of the six was eminently successful.
The Call of Matthew and Simon
The next day Jesus and the six went to call upon Matthew, the customs collector.
The Call of the Twins
The fisherman twins were expecting Jesus and his apostles and were therefore awaiting them on the shore.
The Call of Thomas and Judas
Thomas the fisherman and Judas the wanderer met Jesus and the apostles at the fisher-boat landing at Tarichea...
The Week of Intensive Training
The next week was devoted to a program of intense training.
Once more were his associates shocked, stunned.
First Work of the Twelve
And then near the middle of August, in the year A.D. 26, they went forth two and two to the fields of work assigned by Andrew.
Five Months of Testing
This somewhat monotonous period of alternate fishing and personal work proved to be a grueling experience for the twelve apostles, but they endured the test.
Organization of the Twelve
The apostles early organized themselves in the following manner:
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