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Bible Truths - Jesus Called the Apostles

The following is a listing of Bible Truths in Mark 1:16-20; 2:14; 3:13-19, the story of Jesus calling the apostles.

  1. The Apostles responded immediately and unconditionally to the call from Jesus.  Mark 1:18, 20; 2:14.
  2. The apostles left everything when Jesus called.  Mark 1:18, 20.
  3. Jesus called the apostles to be His companions, to be an eyewitness to His ministry and to preach what He taught them.  Mark 3:14

The Apostles

Simon, also called Peter, a fisherman from Bethsaida and Capernaum.  Mark 1:16, 21, 29; 3:16; John 1:44.
James, son of Zebedee, brother of John, a fisherman.  Mark 1:19; 3:17.
John, brother of James, son of Zebedee, a fisherman.  Mark 1:19; 3:17.
Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, a fisherman from Bethsaida and Capernaum.  Mark 1:16, 21, 29; 3:18; John 1:44.
Philip, from Bethsaida.  Mark 3:18; John 1:44.
Bartholomew.  Mark 3:18.
Matthew, a tax collector.  Mark 3:18; Matthew 10:3.
Thomas.  Mark 3:18.
James, the son of Alphaeus.  Mark 3:18.
Thaddaeus, also called Judas, son of James.  Mark 3:18; Luke 6:16.
Simon the Zealot.  Mark 3:18.
Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.  Mark 3:19.

The following activities can be used to teach the Bible Truths.

Children think literally.  So when an adult says something like "God called me to teach" or "God is telling me this," they think that the adult really heard God speaking to them.  The children then wonder why God never speaks to them.  The children should understand that God calls us and speaks to us through His words written in the Bible.  We read the Bible to know what God wants us to do and the things that please God.  That is God's call to us.

Bible Story Activities.
Gone Fishin' - Make a fishing pole using a dowel (1/4" in diameter and 24" long), string, and a magnet.  Cut fish out of paper and put several staples in the fish.  The children catch the fish when the magnet on the line attracts the staples in the fish.
Treasure Hunters  Use this activity to help the children understand what a Tax Collector did and why they were disliked.
Hide small treats such as bubble gum coins or pieces of chocolates around the room.
Ask the children to find the hidden treasure.
After the treasure is found, explain that they must pay the tax collector before they can eat any of the treats.
Collect the tax.  Make the tax collection unfair to help the children understand why Tax Collectors were not liked.  For example, any child who plays soccer must pay one treat as a tax.  Any child whose middle name starts with a "S" pays one treat.  Any child whose birthday is in January must pay one treat.  Keep going until the children are complaining about the unfairness of the tax.
Explain they have now experienced why Tax Collectors were disliked.
At the end of the demonstration, give the treats back to the children.
Role Play
Actors Needed:  Jesus, several fishermen, a tax collector, people paying taxes.
Props Needed:  Fishing poles, casting net, play money, money box.
The Play:  The fishermen are fishing, the tax collector is collecting the taxes.  Jesus walks to the fishermen and says "Follow Me."  The fishermen stop fishing, leave their fishing gear and follow Jesus.  Jesus walks to the tax collector and says "Follow Me."  The tax collector stops collecting the tax, leaves the money box and follows Jesus.
Who is Responding to the Call from Jesus?
Responding to the call from Jesus means turning from our old life and ways to a new life with a focus on pleasing Jesus.  While no one is perfect, we learn from 1 John 3:6 that sin is not a major part of the life of a believer in Jesus.
Ask the children to identify whose behavior indicates they have responded to the call from Jesus?  Emphasize the following points.
Jesus knows for sure if someone has responded to His call.  He cannot be fooled.
A person that responds to a call from Jesus tries as hard as possible to stop doing things that displease Jesus.
Only Jesus knows if Jimmy, Betty, Bill, and Susie have responded to His call.
Betty and Susie appear to be doing only things that please God.
Jimmy should be trying as hard as possible to run an honest business.
Bill should be trying as hard as possible to be kind to his friends, to stop using God's name in vain, and to stop stealing.

Brain Teasers

Match the Facts - The Apostles

People of the Bible

Learn about the apostles Peter, Andrew, Matthew, Simon, James, John, Judas Iscariot, Thomas, and Philip by playing a game of Who Am I?
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