Disciples History continued Part IV

Nathanael or Bartholomew

  • When the apostle Philip called him to come and meet the Messiah, Nathanael was skeptical, but he followed along anyway.
  • As Philip introduced him to Jesus, the Lord declared, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” Immediately Nathanael wanted to know, “How do you know me?”
  • Jesus got his attention when he answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Well, that stopped Nathanael in his tracks. Shocked and surprised he declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
  • The name Nathanael derives from the Hebrew meaning “God has given.”
  • Nathanael garnered only a few lines in the Gospels, nevertheless, in that instant he became a loyal follower of Jesus Christ.
  • He was considered skeptical (john 1:46),Honest (John 1:47), Faithful (John 1:49).

Witnessed the miraculous catch of fish and eat breakfast with Jesus after his resurrection. John 21:2-7*

Key Lesson

Believers are called to test all things with Scriptures and remain true to its principles.


Levi, who became the apostle Matthew, was a customs official in Capernaum who taxed imports and exports based on his own judgment. The Jews hated him because he worked for Rome and betrayed his countrymen.

    • But when Matthew the dishonest tax collector heard two words from Jesus, “Follow me,” he left everything and obeyed. Like us, he longed to be accepted and loved. Matthew recognized Jesus as someone worth sacrificing for.
    • Matthews was Apologetic (Matthew 9 & 10:2) and Hospitable (Matthew 9:10)

Encounters with Jesus

  • He invited Jesus over to dine with him and his corrupt friends. Matthew 9:10

Sent out on a mission to the Jews to preach “the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” heal the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead, and cast out demons. Matthew 10:5-

Key Lesson

Jesus Christ is for everyone, even sinners and outcasts.


  • He was a twin (John 20:24) and some say Thomas was a carpenter.
  • As far as disciples go, however, history has dealt Thomas a bum rap. After all, each of the 12 apostles, except John, abandoned Jesus during His trial and death at Calvary.
  • Stories suggest that Thomas traveled to India and founded the Christian church and was killed by a spear for his faith and was buried in India.
    • If we’re truly seeking to know the truth, and we’re honest with ourselves and others about our struggles and doubts, God will faithfully meet us and reveal himself to us, just as he did for Thomas.
    • He Affirmed that Jesus was Lord and God.
      • Thomas was prone to extremes. Earlier he had demonstrated courageous faith, willing to risk his own life to follow Jesus into Judea. There is an important lesson to be gained from studying Thomas:
      • Jesus can overcome doubts and lead believers to faithfulness. John 21:2-7

Encounters with Jesus

  • Asked Jesus how to know where Jesus was going. John 14:5
  • The Apostle Thomas is often referred to as “Doubting Thomas” because he refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he saw and touched Christ’s physical wounds.  John 20:25

Personality:   Inquisitive – John 14:5:

Doubtful – John 20:24-25

Courageous – John 11:16

Faithful – John 20: 24-29

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