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Twelve is one of the smallest numbers that has a large number of factors , i.e. 1,2,3,4 and 6 all divide into 12 without remainder. In the Jewish culture of that time, numbers were very significant. 7 was regarded as holy, and, of course the number 40 (as in 40 days and nights) indicated a particular time, very much as we would use the term 'month of Sundays' these days, not to literally mean 31 Sundays, but 'a long time'. The number 12 in the Jewish culture was something very special - signifying perfection. As an example, in revelation, the number in heaven is given as 144,000. Despite what Jehovah's Witnesses say about literally accepting numbers like this, the number 144,000 signified a 'large' number of people (the ,000) and 12 x 12 - the height of perfection -a very apt number for multitude of people ("whom none can number...") in heaven.

Similarly, the Jews had 12 tribes of Israel. Again a perfect number.

Thus, in order that Jesus should have the correct, or perfect number of disciples, he chose 12. In addition, he chose 72 (half of 12 X 12) as followers in an 'outer circle' of people who would go out to proclaim the Kingdom.

In addition to the 12 and the 72 of course, Jesus chose 3 specially close disciples (3 is a quarter of 12) peter, James and John.

Therefore he chose 12 for a particularly cultural reason. What is more significant, of course, is the diverse characters he chose - 2 belligerent teenage boys (James and John), a couple of fishermen (Peter and Andrew), one of whom tended to bluster and open his mouth before engaging his brain (Peter), a political activist (Simon the Zealot), a hated tax collector and collaborator with the occupying Romans (Matthew), one of two twins who was a skeptical cynic (Thomas) amongst them. Yet all these went on to become wonderful evangelists and ambassadors of the Christian faith thanks to the Holy Spirit working in them. It gives us all hope that a motley crew like his could, with the help of God's Spirit, spread the message all over the then known world. The only disciple that one could normally regard as someone with anything about him was the one entrusted to keeping the common fund held by the disciples - Judas Iscariot, and just look how he ended up.

ANOTHER ANSWER:

Jesus told them that they each had a future position AS KINGS in His coming Kingdom (see Matt.19:28).

That required "twelve kings" for the each of the twelve tribes of Israel.

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โˆ™ 2014-12-29 09:43:49
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Q: Why did Jesus choose 12 disciples?
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The reason for Jesus to choose 12 disciples, was mainly to do the work and do the teachings of Jesus after he died on the cross.


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Answer Jesus chose 12 disciples as his close followers, but also chose many more. In the gospel accounts we also hear of the '72' that were sent out into the surrounding villages to proclaim Jesus' arrival. The fact is that in Jewish custom 12 was a special number. It is the smallest number divisible by six factors, 1,2,3,4,6 and 12, and symbolised 'perfection'. Therefore we have the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 discipples of Jesus, the 12 X 12 thousand in heaven (in revelation) and Jesus closest disciples, Peter, James and John (3 of them - one quarter of 12), and the 72 (half of 12 times 12). Therefore, the 12 disciples symbolised a perfect number for Christ's mission on earth. After Jesus' mission ended, there were only 11 disciples of course - as Judas Iscariot had hanged himself. Nevertheless even the disciples themselves saw the need for a 'perfect' number and elected Mathias to take Judas' place.


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