These are the Names of the Twelve Apostles

Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16

It is at this point of His public ministry that Jesus chose the apostolic group of twelve out of the many disciples who were following Him. In this commentary I will make a distinction between apostles and disciples. The twelve will be called apostles or talmidim (Hebrew), and the others would come to believe in Him will be called disciples. While it is true that all the apostles were also disciples it is not true that all disciples were apostles.

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came He called His apostles or talmidim (plural) to Him and chose twelve of them that they might be with Him all the time. A talmid (singular) is merely a learner, committed to following a specific rabbi and learning from him. He designated them as apostles, or sent ones who have the authority of the sender, and sent them out to preach, and to have authority to drive out demons. Jesus did not put His supernatural power into the hands of the Twelve to be exercised by them. He delegated to them the authority to drive out demons in the sense that the talmidim would speak the word declaring the driving out, and then God’s power would drive them out. Thus, He chose twelve special disciples to be His apostles; He chose twelve Jewish men to be sent out with His authority (Mark 3:13-15; Luke 6:12-13).

As John MacArthur details in his book Twelve Ordinary Men, one of the facts that stands out in the lives of all twelve apostles is how ordinary and unrefined they were when Jesus met them. All twelve, with the exception of Judas Iscariot, were from Galilee. That whole region was predominantly rural, consisting of small towns and villages. Its people were not elite. They were not known for their education. They were commonest of the common. They were fishermen and farmers. Such were the talmidim as well. Messiah deliberately passed over those who were aristocratic and influential and chose men mostly from the dregs of society.479

It is important to note that the apostles never prayed to Mary, nor, so far as the biblical record goes, did they show her any special honor. Peter, Paul, John and James do not mention her name even once in the letters that they wrote to the congregations of God. John took care of her until she died (John 19:25-27), but does not mention her in any of his three epistles or in the book of Revelation.480

For each of the talmidim we will look at three areas. First, there will be an introduction; second, we will look at the death of the apostles; and third we will look at the legacy of each apostle. These are the twelve He appointed (Matthew 10:1-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:12-16):

1. Introduction to Simon (whom He named Kefa), is listed first, and was the leader of the apostles. Jesus gave him an additional name to the one he already had (John 1:42). A fisherman by trade, he was called Shim’on in Hebrew, Peter in Greek and Cephas in Aramaic, meaning the Rock. His full name at birth was Simon Bar-Jonah (Matthew 16:17), meaning Simon, son of Jonah (John 21:15-17). We know nothing of his parents. Simon was a very common name with seven Simons listed in the Gospels alone. The name is descriptive of a rock-like man, dependable, immovable, equal to the emergencies and crises that confronted him. He would certainly live up to his name by being a rock in the early messianic movement. Simon Peter had a wife. We know this because in Lk 4:38 Jesus healed his mother-in-law, and Paul in First Corinthians 9:5 said that Peter took her on his apostolic mission.

Death: We know that Jesus told Simon that he would die a martyr (John 21:18-19). But Scripture doesn’t record his death. All the records of the early Church indicate that Peter was crucified in Rome. Eusebius cites the testimony of Clement, who says that before Peter was crucified he was forced to watch the crucifixion of his own wife. As he watched her being led to her death, Clement says, Peter called to her by name, saying, “Remember the Lord.” When it was Peter’s turn to die, he pleaded to be crucified upside down because he wasn’t worthy to die as his Lord had died. And thus he was nailed to the cross with his head pointed down.

Legacy: Peter’s life could be summed up in the final words of his second letter: Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Pet 3:18). This is exactly what Simon Peter did, that is why he became the Rock, the great leader of the early congregations of God.481

2. Introduction to Andrew the brother of Peter. Although they were brothers, they had totally different leadership styles. But just as Peter was perfectly suited for his calling, Andrew was perfectly suited for his. Andrew, a name of Greek origin though in use among the Jews, comes from aner a Greek word for man. The first among the twelve to be called, but of the four in the inner circle Andrew was the least conspicuous. Scripture doesn’t tell us a lot about him, but we do know he checked his ego at the door. He is the very picture of all those who use their spiritual gifts quietly behind the scenes, not only while people are watching, as if you merely want to please them. But as bond-slaves of Christ, who have a deep desire to do what God wants them to do (Ephesians 6:6). He was one of those rare people who was willing to take second place and did not mind being hidden as long as the work was being done.

Death: Church history doesn’t record what happened to Andrew after the Feast of Weeks in Acts 2. Tradition says he took the Gospel north. Eusebius, the ancient Church historian, says Andrew went as far as Scythia (that’s why Andrew is the patron saint of Russia). He was ultimately crucified in Achaia, which is in southern Greece, near Athens. One account says he led the wife of a provincial Roman governor to Christ, and that infuriated her husband. He demanded that his wife recant her devotion to Jesus Christ and she refused. So the governor had Andrew crucified. He was bound to a cross instead of nailing him, in order to prolong his suffering (tradition says it was a saltire, or an X shaped cross). By most accounts he hung on the cross for two days and preached to his persecutors until he died.

Legacy: Andrew shows us that in the effective ministry it’s often the little things that count – the individual people, the behind-the-scene gifts, and the inconspicuous service. God delights to use such things, because God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him (First Corinthians 1:27-29).482

3. Introduction to James (a very Anglicized version of Ya’akov) son of Zebedee and his younger brother John, to them Jesus gave the name Boanerges, in addition to the one they already had. Their new name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder,” was evidently justified by their zeal and impulsive nature (Luke 9:54). Sometimes known as James the greater, he is the least familiar to us of Messiah’s closest inner circle. The biblical account is practically devoid of any explicit details about his life. But if there’s a keyword that describes James it’s passion. From what little we know about him, it is obvious that he was a man of intense fervor.

Death: James is the only apostle whose death is recorded in Scripture. It was around this time that King Herod began arresting and persecuting certain members of the Messianic community, and he had Ya’akov, Yochanan’s brother, put to death by the sword (Acts 12:1-2 CJB). In other words, he was beheaded in Yerushalayim. History records that James’ testimony bore fruit right up until the moment of his execution. Eusebius, the early church historian, passes on an account of James’ death that came from Clement of Alexandria. Clement says that the one who led Ya’akov to the judgment seat, when he heard him witnessing, was moved, and confessed that he was himself a believer. They were both, therefore, led away together; and on the way he begged James to forgive him. And Ya’akov, after considering a little, said, “Peace be with you,” and kissed him. And they were both beheaded together.

Legacy: James is the prototype of the passionate, zealous, frontrunner that is dynamic, strong and ambitious. Ultimately his passions were tempered by sensitivity and grace. Somewhere along the line he had learned to control his anger, harness his tongue, redirect his zeal, and eliminate his thirst for revenge. Consequently, the Lord used him to do wonderful work in the Messianic community. Such lessons are sometimes hard for a man of James’ passions to learn. Such zeal must always be tempered with love. But if it is surrendered to the control of the Ruach HaKodesh and blended with patience and longsuffering, such zeal can be a marvelous instrument in the hands of God. The legacy of James offers clear proof of that.483

4. Introduction to John, the younger brother of James, whose mother was Salome and his father Zebedee. Yeshua gave them the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder,” which was evidently justified by their zeal and impulsive nature (Luke 9:54). John played a major role in the early Church. He was a member of Christ’s most intimate inner circle, but he was by no means the dominant member of that group. He was the human author of the fourth Gospel, three other letters, as well as the book of Revelation. Yochanan is known as the apostle of love. But it was a quality he learned from Messiah, not something that came naturally to him. In his younger years, he was just as rugged, zealous and explosive as his elder brother James. John is the only one of the apostles who witnessed the crucifixion (John 19:25-27). Virtually all reliable sources in early church history attest to the fact that Yochanan became the pastor of the church that the apostle Paul founded at Ephesus.

Death: John was the only apostle who lived to an old age. When John’s brother James became the church’s first martyr, John bore the loss in a more personal way than the others. As each of the other apostles was martyred one by one, he suffered the grief and pain of additional loss. They were his friends and companions. Soon he alone was left. In some ways, that may have been the most painful suffering of all. From Ephesus, during the great persecution under the Roman Emperor Domitian, John was banished to a prison community on Patmos, one of the small Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea off the west coast of modern Turkey. He lived in a cave there and received and recorded the apocalyptic visions described in the book of Revelation. Eventually released, John died around 98 AD. The church father Jerome says in his commentary on Galatians that the aged apostle was so frail in his final days at Ephesus that he had to be carried into the church. One phrase was constantly on his lips: My little children, love one another (First John 3:18). Asked why he always said this, he replied, “It is the Lord’s command, and if this alone be done, it is enough.”

Legacy: In fact, John’s theology is best described as a theology of love. He taught that God is a God of love, that God loved His one-and-only Son, that God loved the world, that Christ loves God, that Christ loved His apostles, and that Christ’s talmidim loved Him, that everyone should love Christ, that we should love one another, and that love fulfills the Torah. Love was a critical part of every element of Yochanan’s teaching, and thus, is his legacy.484

Thus, the fishermen of Galilee – Peter, Andrew, James and John – became fishers of men and women, boy and girls on a tremendous scale, gathering souls into the kingdom of God. In a sense, they are still casting their nets into the sea of the world by their testimony in the Scriptures. They are still bringing multitudes of people to Christ. While they were common men, theirs was an uncommon calling.485

5. Introduction to Philip, which is a Greek name, meaning lover of horses. Perhaps Philip came from a family of Hellenistic Jews (Acts 6:1). He must also have had a Jewish name, however, because all twelve talmidim were Jewish. But if he did have a Jewish name it is never given, so we just know him as Philip. Like Andrew and Peter, Philip was from the town of Bethsaida (John 1:44). The ease with which Philip responded when Yeshua said to him: Follow Me (John 1:43), demonstrated that he knew the TaNaKh. He was ready. He was expectant. His heart was prepared, and he received the Meshiach gladly. But sometimes his logical thinking got in the way of his faith in other matters. At the feeding of the 5,000 when Jesus said to Philip: Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? Philip answered Him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for all of them to eat (Mark 6:37b; John 6:5-7)! The limitless supernatural power of Christ had completely escaped his thinking. Philip needed to learn to set aside his materialistic, pragmatic, common-sense concerns and learn to lay hold of the supernatural potential of faith.486 In other words, He needed to think outside the spiritual box.

Death: Tradition tells us that Philip was greatly used in the spread of the early messianic movement and was among the first of the apostles to suffer martyrdom. He died after being hung upside-down with iron hooks through his ankles by the proconsul of Hierapolis, in Phrygia (Asia Minor), eight years after the martyrdom of James.487

Legacy: Philip obviously overcame the human tendencies that so often hampered his faith. Therefore, he stands with the other apostles and believers of all ages as proof that we don’t have to be perfect to advance the kingdom of God. Sometimes our halo slips, as did Philip’s. But he changed and so can we! Before his death, multitudes came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior under his preaching.

6. Introduction to Nathanael, who also went by the name Bartholomew in all four lists of the Twelve (including Acts 1:13). In the Gospel of John he is always called Nathanael. Bartholomew is a Hebrew surname meaning son of Tolmai, or Bar-Tolmai, a Hebrew transliteration of the name Ptolemy given to several Egyptian kings after the Alexandrian conquests that brought Israel under Egyptian rule and influence for many decades. Thus, it should not be surprising that a Jew would have an Egyptian name. The synoptic Gospels and the book of Acts contain no details about Nathanael’s background, character or personality. John’s Gospel features him in only two passages, in John 1, where his call is recorded, and in Yochanan 21:2, where he is named as one of those who returned to Galilee and went fishing with Peter after Jesus’ resurrection and before His ascension.

Although he held some early prejudice against those from Nazareth (John 1:46); fortunately, his prejudice was not as powerful as his seeking heart. The most important aspect of Nathanael’s character was expressed from the lips of Yeshua when He said: Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit (John 1:47). This spoke volumes about Nathanael’s character. He was pure-hearted from the beginning. Certainly, he was human. He had sinful faults. His mind was tainted with a degree of prejudice. But his heart was not poisoned by deceit. He was no hypocrite. His love for God, and His desire to see the Messiah, were genuine. His heart was sincere without guile.

Death: That’s all we know about Nathanael from Scripture. Early church records suggest that he ministered in Persia and India and took the Gospel as far as Armenia. He was flayed alive.488

Legacy: What we do know is that Nathanael was faithful to the end because he was faithful from the start. Everything he experienced with Messiah and whatever he experienced after the birth of the Messianic community in Acts 2 ultimately only made his faith stronger. And Nathanael, like the other talmidim, stands as proof that ADONAI can take the most common people, from the most insignificant places, and use them for His glory.489

7. Introduction to Thomas, in the Hebrew and Didymus in the Greek, which means the twin. It seems he had a twin brother or sister, but this twin is never identified in the Bible. Like Nathanael, Thomas is mentioned only once in each of the three synoptic Gospels. In each case, he is simply named with the other talmidim. No details about him are given in the Synoptics, so we learn everything we know about his character from the book of John. Thomas was a pessimist. Like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh, he anticipated the worst all the time. When Christ was headed back to Jerusalem to heal Lazarus, Thomas could see nothing but disaster ahead. He was convinced Jesus was headed straight for a stoning at the hands of the Pharisees. But if that’s what the Lord was determined to do, Thomas was grimly determined to die with Him and said: Let us also go, that we may die with Him (John 11:16). It seems that pessimism, rather than a lack of faith, was his only sin. Thomas obviously had a deep devotion to Christ that could not be dampened even by his own pessimism.

When Thomas was told that the Lord had risen after His crucifixion, he was pessimistic about it and wanted to see it for himself. Remember, the other apostles did not believe in the resurrection until they also saw Jesus (Mark 16:10-11). When Messiah appeared and showed the skeptic His scars, Thomas made one of the greatest statements to ever come from the lips of the talmidim: My Lord and my God (John 20:28)! Suddenly, Thomas’ melancholy, comfortless, negative, moody tendencies were forever washed away by the appearance of Christ. A short time later at the Feast of Weeks, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered for ministry. He, like the other apostles, took the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Death: The strongest traditions say he was run through with a spear at Coromandel in the East Indies – a fitting form of martyrdom for one whose faith came of age when he saw the spear mark in his Master’s side and for one who longed to be reunited with his Lord.

Legacy: There is a considerable amount of ancient testimony that suggests Thomas carried the Gospel as far as India. There is to this day a small hill near the airport in Chennai (Madras), India, where Thomas is said to have been buried. There are churches in south India whose roots are traceable to the beginning of the Church Age, and tradition says they were founded under his ministry.490

8. Introduction to Matthew, or his Hebrew name Levi is very paradoxical. Levi that means the gift of God, and because he was a hated tax collector, he must have had a difficult time convincing other Jews of that fact! In all likelihood, none of the twelve was more notorious than Mattityahu. What caused him to drop everything and follow Yeshua? Whatever his tortured soul may have experienced because of his profession, down deep inside he was a Jew who knew and loved the Scriptures. He was spiritually hungry and the draw of Jesus was irresistible. We know that he knew the TaNaKh very well because he quotes it ninety-nine times in his Gospel. That’s more than Mark, Luke and John combined. After being saved, he became a man of quiet humility who loved the outcasts and opposed religious hypocrisy – a man of great faith and complete surrender to the lordship of Christ. He stands as a vivid reminder that the Lord often chooses the most despicable people of this world, redeems them, gives them new hearts, and uses them in remarkable ways.

Death: We know that Mattityahu wrote his Gospel with a Jewish audience in mind. Traditions say he ministered to the Jews both in Israel and abroad for many years before suffering martyrdom by being slain with a sword at a distant country of Ethiopia.491 Therefore, this man who walked away from a lucrative career without ever giving it a second thought remained willing to give his all for Yeshua ha-Meshiach to the very end.

Legacy: Forgiveness is the thread that runs through Matthew 9 after the account of his conversion. Of course, even as a tax collector, Mattityahu knew his sin, his greed, and his betrayal of his own people. He knew he was guilty of graft, extortion, oppression, and abuse. But when Yeshua said to him: Follow Me, Matthew knew there was inherent in that command a promise of forgiveness. And that is why he got up from his tax collecting booth without hesitation and devoted the rest of his life to serving the Messiah.492

9. Introduction to James son of Alphaeus, sometimes known as James the younger. Except for Judas Iscariot, the last four apostles are virtually silent in the Gospel narratives. Little is known about any of them, except the fact that they were chosen as apostles. We don’t see much of their heroism in the Gospel records, they are portrayed as ordinary men. When they do come to the foreground, they often exhibited doubt, disbelief or confusion. But things changed after the resurrection. Suddenly we begin to see them acting differently. They are strong and courageous. They perform miracles. They preach with newfound boldness. But even then, the biblical record is sparse. Primarily we hear about Peter, John and Rabbi Sha’ul who became known as Paul after his conversion on the Damascus road (Acts 9:1-19). The rest of them went on into obscurity. But they were all chosen for a reason.

The only thing the Bible tells us about this man is his name. If he ever wrote anything, it is lost to history. If he ever asked Jesus any questions or did anything to stand out from the group, Scripture does not record it. He never attained any degree of fame or notoriety. He was not the kind of person who stood out. He was utterly obscure.There is, however, an interesting possibility about his lineage when we compare Mark 15:40 with John 19:25. Both verses mention two other Marys who were standing by the cross of Yeshua with Mary the Lord’s mother. Mark 15:40 mentions Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph. John 19:25 names Jesus’ mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas standing near the cross. It is possible, perhaps even likely, that Jesus’ mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary the mother of James the younger were the same person. Clopas may have been another name for Alphaeus, or James’ mother might have remarried after his father died. That would have made James the younger cousin of Jesus.

Death: Some of the earliest legends about him confuse him with James the brother of the Lord. There is some evidence that James the younger took the Gospel to Syria and Persia. Accounts of his death differ. Some say he was stoned; others say he was beaten to death; still others say he was crucified like his Lord. But two things are certain. One, he was martyred, and two, his name will be inscribed on one of the gates of the heavenly City (see my commentary on Revelation Fu – The New Jerusalem had a Great, High Wall with Twelve Gates).

Legacy: Most of the talmidim more or less disappear from the biblical scene within a few years after the Feast of Weeks. In no case does the Bible give us a full biography. That’s because the Scripture always keeps the focus on the Lord and the power of His Word, not the men who were the instruments of that power. Those men were filled with the Ruach and they preached the Word. That is all we really need to know. The vessel is not the issue; the Master is. But heaven will reveal the full truth of who they were and what they were like. In the meantime, it is enough for us to know that they were chosen by the KING of kings, empowered by the Spirit, and used by ADONAI to carry the Gospel to the world of their day.493

10. Introduction to Judas son of James. The name Judas in and of itself is a fine name. It means the LORD leads.But because of the treachery of Judas Iscariot, the name, like Adolf (for Adolf Hitler), will forever bear a negative connotation. John calls him Judas (not Iscariot). Martin Luther called him der fromme Judas, that is, the good Judas. Judas son of James actually had three names. The church father Jerome referred to him as Trinomious, or the man with three names. In Matthew 10:3 he is called Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus. Judas was probably the name given to him at birth. Lebbaeus and Thaddaeus were essentially nicknames. Thaddaeus means breast child and Lebbaeus literally means heart child. Both names suggest a tender heart.

The B’rit Chadashah records only one incident involving Judas Lebbaeus Thaddaeus. It was in the Upper Room on the night in which Messiah was betrayed, and He said: Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them. Then John adds: Then Judas (not Iscariot) said: But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world (John 14:21-22)? Here we see Judas’ tenderhearted humility. He didn’t say anything brash, bold or overconfident. He didn’t rebuke the Lord like Peter once did. His question was full of gentleness, meekness and without any sense of pride. He just couldn’t believe the Master would show Himself to the twelve and not to the whole world. The Chief Sheppard gave him an answer as tender as the question. Jesus replied: Anyone who loves Me will obey My teachings. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make Our home with them (John 14:23). This was a pious, believing talmid.

Most of the early tradition regarding Lebbaeus Thaddaeus suggests that a few years after the Feast of Weeks (Acts 2), he took the Gospel north, to Edessa, a royal city in Mesopotamia, in what would be Turkey today. There are numerous accounts of how he healed the king of Edessa, a man named Abgar. In the fourth century, Eusebius the Church historian said the archives at Edessa, since destroyed, contained records full of Thaddaeus’ visit and healing of Abgar.

Death: The traditional apostolic symbol of Judas Lebbaeus Thaddaeus is a club, because tradition tells us that he was clubbed to death for his faith.

Legacy: Thus the tenderhearted soul followed his Lord faithfully to the end. His testimony was as powerful and far-reaching as that of the better-known and more outspoken apostles. He, like them, is proof of how God uses ordinary people in remarkable ways.494

11. Introduction to Simon who was called the Zealot (Luke 6:15). In Mattityahu 10:4 and Mark 3:18, he is called Simon the Cananaean. This is not in reference to the land of Canaan or the village of Cana. It comes from the Hebrew root qanna, which means to be zealous. Apparently, Simon had been a member of Jewish nationalists known as the Zealots. The fact that he bore the title all his life many also suggest that he had a fiery, zealous temperament. But that term in Jesus’ day signified a well-known and widely feared outlaw political force. They were red-hot patriots, ready to die in an instant for what they believed in.

The Zealots were not a religious sect, but a group of Jewish nationalists, the Jewish Liberation Front of their day, who advocated the violent overthrow of the Romans occupiers. This gives us some insight into the messianic agenda of Yeshua, as He purposely chose one of His apostles who was violently opposed to Rome, as well as a Roman sympathizer (Matthew), who was employed by the occupying forces! Simon belonged to them (Acts 1:13). Barabbas is called one of those among the rebels who had committed murder in the insurrection (Mark 15:7; Acts 3:14), a notorious prisoner (Matthew 27:16) and a lestes, or a bandit (John 18:40). The two men crucified on either side of Jesus were called bandits (Mark 15:27). Barabbas may have been a zealot. Josephus portrays the revolutionaries as “brigands,” endeavoring to marginalize them from the mainstream Jewish population. These brigands were popular with the common people because they preyed upon the wealthy establishment of Israel and created havoc for the Roman government. Although some Pharisees may have opposed their violence, Zealots, while distinct from the Pharisees, seem to have carried out the same ideology, albeit in a more militant manner.

Death: He died as violently as he once lived by being sawn in half. This man who was once willing to kill or be killed for a political ideal within the confines of Judah found a more fruitful cause for which to give his life – in the proclamation of salvation for sinners from every tribe and language and people and nation (Revelation 5:9b).495

Legacy: It is amazing that Yeshua would select a man like Simon to be an apostle. But he was a man of fierce loyalties, amazing passion, courage and zeal. He believed in the truth and embraced the Meshiach as Lord and Savior. Several early sources say that after the destruction of Jerusalem, Simon took the Gospel north and preached in the British Isles.496

12. Introduction to Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him (Mark 3:19). Judas means the LORD leads, and indicates that when he was born his parents must have had great hopes for him to be led by God. The irony of the name is that no person was ever more clearly led by Satan than was Judas. Y’hudah from K’roit means a man of the town K’riot. Reference is made to his native town that is given in Joshua 15:24 as one of the utter most cities of Judah some twenty miles south of Yerushalayim. Judas was ordinary in every way, just like the other talmidim. Under his outer garment of white, Judas wore a leather apron with two huge pockets, and in these he maintained the treasury. He might have also carried a small box under his arm. It’s significant that when Christ predicted one of them would betray Him, no one pointed the finger of suspicion at Judas (Mt 26:22-23). He was so expert in his hypocrisy that no one seemed to distrust him. But Jesus knew his evil heart from the beginning (John 6:64).

Death: See Lm – Judas Hanged Himself.

Legacy: Judas is the most notorious and universally scorned of all the apostles. He will forever be known as the traitor. His name appears last in every biblical list of the talmidim, except in Acts 1, where it doesn’t appear at all. Every time Judas is mentioned in Scripture, we also find a notation about his being a traitor. He is the most colossal failure in all of human history. He betrayed the perfect, sinless, holy Son of God for a few silver coins. His dark story is a painful example of the depths to which the human heart is capable of sinking. He spent three-and-a-half years with Christ, but for all that time his heart only grew hard and hateful.497

 

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