My husband, Jim, and I had an active life being in the spotlight as soloists and church leaders. but when Jim moved to a denominational position, we also moved to a new church. I remember attending that first Sunday and thinking, we’re just one of the people. Nobody knows us. We were used to being known. I felt like just another person in the pew.
Have you ever felt like that? Just a plain ole person? An unknown?
Getting back to our study of the disciples, we come to three more who are hardly known. Maybe you don’t even know their names.
Let’s give them due honor beginning with James, son of Alphaeus. Now, I want very much to claim him as Matthew’s brother since they are both sons of Alphaeus, But alas, the scholars have no proof of that it’s the same Alphaeus.
James is also referred to as James the less. How would you like to be known as “the lesser?” Perhaps he was small of stature or was younger than James, son of Zebedee. His mother Mary (and another son) is listed among the women who helped Jesus and were there at the cross.
Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome. Mark 15:40
There is some evidence that James took the gospel to Syria and Persia where he was martyred.
Simon the zealot is the next of these three. He likely had to endure his tag for a while like Matthew the tax collector. These two tags were at the opposite ends of the political spectrum. The zealots were all about undoing anything Roman. What a testimony that these two could overcome their former lives and become brothers in Christ.
Several sources say that Simon took the gospel north to the British Isles. Like the others, he was killed for preaching the gospel.
Finally, we have Judas son of James, also known as Thaddaeus (meaning breast child or heart child.) Perhaps he was tender-hearted. We do have one comment recorded of this Judas. Jesus is in the upper room having his last words to his disciples. Jesus says some things they can’t quite understand until after the crucifixion and resurrection.
“He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
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
Jesus assures Judas that whoever loves him and obeys his teachings will be loved by Jesus and the Father.
Though little known, though few comments if any are recorded, all of these followers of Jesus, from Peter to Judas son of James, experienced his love and grew in their understanding which prepared them to go into all the world to minister even unto death for their Savior.
Each disciple contributed much, but the gospel writers made it clear that the most important words and actions must center on Christ alone.
~ Joyce ~