A night of Prayer leads to ordination of the Apostles

Lk 6: 12 to 19


Lk 6:12 - In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God 

The previous portion of scripture reminds us that Jesus was facing increasing resistance from the religious authorities of the day. We saw in our previous study how the Pharisees and Scribes started plotting together to kill Jesus! However, unperturbed by the religious authorities of the day who were plotting together to murder him, Jesus ascended one of the mountains near Capernaum to pray. His prayer lasted the whole night.


Lk6:13 – And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles 

Jesus prayer was focused at understanding the Father’s will about the 12 apostles he needed to select from the large group of disciples that were following him. It was day by the time Jesus finished his prayers that night, but He had what he wanted – the names of the 12 He needed to appoint as Apostles!


Here are a few more gleanings from this blessed portion of scripture:

1. Jesus agenda that night as he prayed was not for self-preservation but rather focused on advancing the Father’s plan

2. The same prayer that enabled Jesus to select the 12 apostles also led to the appointment of Judas Iscariot who would eventually betray him. 

3. Prayer is two-way communication with our Father in Heaven. Jesus knew his prayer time was over when he had peace in His heart and had direction from the Father. God wants us to follow the same pattern. If we can call on Him, He will put His will in our hearts as answer to our prayers. 

As scriptures declare

‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,’ says the LORD. ‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the LORD, I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, “Know the LORD,” for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ says the LORD. ‘For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more’ (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts (2 Corinthians 3:3)


The term “Apostles” comes from the Greek root “Apostolos” which means sent or ambassador. It is not the same as the word used for disciples – “Mathētēs” which means follower.

Jesus was the first Apostle sent by God the Father unto humanity. He chose 12 apostles to carry on the work in the same calling. This same apostolic ministry stretches out to this day. Question is whether we are playing an active part in it or have become passive over the years.


Lk6:14-16:  Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor Luke 6:14-16

In each of the Gospel accounts, Simon Peter is placed at the head of the list of the apostles. Bartholomew is probably the same as Nathanael mentioned in John’s account. Matthew and Levi are again the same person. The Zealots were a group of nationalistic religious people in Israel that were constantly trying to overthrow the romans. It is remarkable that Simon who came from a background of hating anything connected to Rome found himself working alongside Matthew who until recently had been in the employ of the romans as a tax collector!  Judas son of James should be identified as Thaddaeus in Mark’s account (Mark 3:18; cf. John 14:22). The meaning of “Iscariot” is disputed. It is believed it means “a man from Kerioth,” a city in southern Judea. In any case, Judas’s name is always mentioned as the last name in each of the gospel accounts.


Concluding thoughts:

· Jesus ascended to the mountain top and prayed so that we could come to a level place in our lives where we can finally hear him and know his will for our lives.

· The same Jesus who ascended unto the high places did not hesitate to descend and come to the level of the people so that he could minister to their needs – both known/ perceived and unknown.

· Do we take time to spend time in prayer to understand the Lord’s will? Or are we prone to brash decisions made in the flesh in little or namesake consulting of the Lord?

· We see a large crowd gather to hear Jesus, to touch Him and be healed. However, the reason for the crowds and the reason for the healing/ deliverance is the same – Jesus’ time spent praying and communing with the Father.”

· Prayer brings us closer to the Lord and we understand and learn to accept His will in full confidence knowing that even if we need to deal with a traitor for 3 years, in the end the victory still belongs to us and God’s plans never fail!