BACKGROUND FOR THIS EPISODE
(In Order of Appearance)
NEW TESTAMENT OF THE BIBLE:
- Matthew 10:2-4 – These are the names of the twelve apostles: First there was Simon (called Peter); Andrew (Peter’s brother); James (the son of Zebedee); John (James’ brother); 3Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew (the tax collector); James (the son of Alphaeus); Thaddaeus; 4Simon the Revolutionary;a and Judas Iscariot (He turned against Jesus.).
- Luke 6:12-13 – At that time, Jesus went out to a mountain to pray. He stayed there all night long, praying to God. 13When morning came, Jesus called his followers and chose twelve of them. He named them “apostles.”
- John 5:17-18 – Jesus answered them, “My Father always works and I must work, too.” 18Because of this, the Jewish leaders were trying even harder to kill Jesus. They thought that Jesus was not only breaking the rules about the sabbath day, but he was also claiming that God was his own Father, thus putting himself on the same level with God.
- Mark 3:6 – Immediately, the Pharisees and the followers of Herod Antipasa left. They began to make a plot to kill Jesus.
- Matthew 10:5-6 – Jesus sent out these twelve men with these orders: “Don’t go off into any non-Jewish area. Don’t go into any Samaritan town. 6Instead, go to the lost sheep—the people of Israel.
- Matthew 11:1 – When Jesus finished giving these orders to his twelve followers, he left there to teach and to proclaim among their towns.
- John 3:16-17 – God loved the people of the world so much that He gave up His one and onlyb Son. Every person who commits himself to Jesus will not be destroyed. Instead, that person will have eternal life. 17God did not send His Son into the world to judge it. God sent Jesus, so that the people of the world could be saved through him.
- John 11:5-7, 16 – Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. 6When Jesus heard that Lazarus was very sick, then he stayed where he was for two days. 7After that, Jesus said to his followers, “Let us go back to the land of Judea.”…16Thomas (called The Twin) said to the other followers, “Let us go, too, so that we can die with him!”
- John 11:25 – Jesus answered her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life! The person who commits himself to me will live, even though he may die.
- Matthew 24:9-14 – “Then they will hand you over to some men for torturing. They will kill you. All people will hate you, because of my name. 10Then many people will feel disgraced; they will turn against one another. They will hate each other. 11Many false prophets will appear. They will fool many people. 12Because the influence of sin will be so strong, the love of many people will grow cold. 13But the person who endures until the end will be saved. 14This Good News about the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole world, so that all nations may hear the truth. And then the end will come.”
- John 14:17 – I will ask my Father and He will give to you another Comforter—the Spirit of truth. He will be with you forever. The people of the world cannot accept him, because they don’t see him or know him, but you know him because he stays with you—and he will be in you.
- John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word,a and the Word was with God, and the Word was deity.b
- John 14:22-30 – Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said to Jesus, “Lord, what has happened that you are ready to reveal yourself to us, but not to the people of the world?” 23Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me and obeys my teaching, then my Father will love him. We will come and live with him. 24The person who does not love me will not obey my teachings. The message you are hearing is not mine; it belongs to the Father who sent me. 25“I have said these things to you while I am staying with you. 26The Comforter will teach you everything. He will cause you to remember everything I have told you. He is the Holy Spirit. The Father will send him with my authority. 27I am leaving peace with you. I am giving to you my peace. This peace that I am giving you is not like the type that the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or afraid. 28“You have heard me say to you: ‘I am leaving, but I will come back to you.’ If you really loved me, you would be glad that I am traveling to the Father. The Father is greater than I am. 29Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you will believe. 30I will not say many more things while I am with you. The ruler of the worlda is coming. He can do nothing to me.
- John 16:1-4 – “I have said these things to you, so that you will not be led into sin. 2They will throw you out of the synagogues. The time is coming when each person who kills you will think he is offering service to God! 3They don’t know the Father or me. That is why they will do these things. 4But I have told you these things, so when the time comes, you will remember that I warned you. “I did not tell you this in the beginning because I was with you,
- Matthew 18:18-20 – “I am telling you the truth: Whatever you bind on earth will have already been bound in heaven. Whatever you loosen on earth will have already been loosened in heaven. 19Again, I am telling you the truth: If two people among you, on earth, agree to ask God for anything, my heavenly Father will make it happen for them. 20Wherever two or three people have gathered in my name, I am there among them.”
- Mark 16:15-16 – Jesus said to them, “When you have gone into the whole world, proclaim the Good News to all mankind. 16The person who believes it and is immersed will be saved, but the person who doesn’t believe it will be condemned.
- Acts 1:8-9 – However, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive power. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all of Judea, in Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the world.” 9After Jesus said these things, he was lifted up into the sky. While the apostles were watching, Jesus went into a cloud; they couldn’t see him anymore.
- John 21:24-25 – He [John] is the follower who wrote these things. He is the one who is giving proof about these things. We know that his testimony is true. 25Also, there are many other things which Jesus did. If each one of them were written down, I suppose that the whole world could not contain the books which could be written.
- Acts 4:32-33 – The group of believers were joined in their hearts and they were united in spirit. No one in the group said that the things he had were his own. Instead, they shared everything. 33The apostles used great power to give evidence that the Lord Jesus has been raised from death. All of the believers felt very thankful for God’s great blessings.
- Acts 6:2-8 – The twelve apostles called the whole group of followers together. They said to them, “It is wrong for us to quit teaching God’s message to serve tables instead. 3So, brothers, pick out seven of your own men. They must be known to be full of wisdom and full of the Spirit. We will confirm them to be over this work. 4Then we will use all of our time to pray and to teach the message of God.” 5The whole group liked this idea. So, they chose these men: Stephen (a man of great faith and full of the Holy Spirit), Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolas (a man from Antioch who had become a Jew). 6Then they put these men before the apostles, who prayed and placed their hands on them.a 7God’s message was influencing more and more people. The group of followers in Jerusalem became larger and larger. Even many of the Jewish priests were obedient to the faith.
8Since Stephen was full of God’s favor and power, he was working miracles among the people to show great proofs from God.
- Acts 7:6 – He fell on his knees and shouted this: “Lord, don’t blame them for this sin!” After Stephen said that, he died. Saul approved of the killing of Stephen.
- Acts 8:1-4 – Some good men buried Stephen. They cried very loudly for him.a On that day there was a fierce attack on the congregation in Jerusalem. Saul was also trying to destroy them. He even went into their homes. He dragged out men and women and put them in jail. All of the believers had to leave Jerusalem; only the apostles stayed there. The believers went to different places in Judea and Samaria. 4They were scattered everywhere. And everywhere the believers went, they told peopleb the Good News about Jesus.
- Acts 9:1-6 – In Jerusalem Saul was still trying to scare the followers of the Lord Jesus, threatening to kill them. So, he went to the high priest. 2Saul asked him to write letters to the Jews of the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted the authority to find people in Damascus who were followers of The Way. If he found any believers there, men or women, he would tie them up and bring them back to Jerusalem. 3So, Saul went to Damascus. When he came near the city, a bright light from the sky suddenly shined all around him. 4Saul fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying to him: “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?” 5Saul asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The voice answered, “I am Jesus. I am the one you are persecuting! 6Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.”
- Acts 22:16 – Now, don’t wait any longer. Rise up, get yourself immersed and get your sins washed away, trusting in his name.’
- Acts 9:26-27, 31 – Then Saul went to Jerusalem. He was trying to join the group of followers, but they were all afraid of him; they didn’t believe that Saul truly was a follower of Jesus, 27but Barnabas accepted him and brought him to the apostles. Barnabas told them that Saul had seen the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus. He explained to the apostles how the Lord had spoken to Saul. Then he told them how in Damascus Saul had proclaimed to the people in the name of Jesus without fear…31Everywhere in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria, the people who answered God’s callc had a time of peace. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the group became stronger and stronger. The believers showed that they respected the Lord by the way they lived. Because of this, the group of believers grew larger and larger.
- Acts 10:3-5; 23-28; 34-41; 44-48 – One afternoon about three o’clock, Cornelius clearly saw a vision. In the vision, an angel of God came to him and said to him, “Cornelius!” 4Cornelius stared at the angel. He became afraid and asked, “What do you want, sir?” The angel said to Cornelius, “God has heard your prayers. He has seen your gifts to the poor people. God has not forgotten the things you have done. 5Send some men now to the town of Joppa. Send for a man named Simon. He is also called Peter…The next day, Peter got ready and went away with the three men. Some of the Jewish brothers from Joppa went along with Peter. 24The next day, they came into the city of Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them. He had already called in his relatives and close friends. 25When Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him. Cornelius fell down at Peter’s feet and worshiped him. 26But Peter made him get up. Peter said, “Stand up! I am only a man, like you.”a 27Peter continued talking with Cornelius. Then Peter went inside and saw a large group of people there. 28Peter said to them, “You people understand that it is forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or visit any non-Jewish person. But God has shown me that I should not call any person ‘unholy’ or ‘unclean…34Peter began to speak, “Now I understand! God treats everyone the same. 35God accepts any person who worships Him and does what is right. It doesn’t matter what race a person comes from. 36God has spoken to the sons of Israel. He sent them the Good News, that peace has come through Jesus the Messiah, who is the Lord of all people! 37You know what occurred all over Judea. It began in Galilee after John proclaimed to the people about immersion. 38You know about Jesus from Nazareth. God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and power. Jesus went everywhere doing good things for people. He healed everyone who was ruled by the Devil. God was with Jesus. 39We saw all of the things that he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. But Jesus was killed; they put him on a cross made of wood. 40However, on the third day after his death, God raised Jesus to life! God allowed a few people to see him clearly. 41Jesus was not seen by all of the people; only the witnesses whom God had already chosen—they saw him. We are those witnesses! We ate and drank with Jesus after he was raised from death…44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came upon all those people who were listening to his speech. 45The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed. They were shocked because the gift of the Holy Spirit was being poured out on people who were not Jewish. 46These Jewish believers heard them speaking different inspired languages and praising God. Then Peter said, 47“Can we refuse to allow these people to be immersed in water? They have received the Holy Spirit the same as we did!” 48So, Peter commanded that Cornelius and his relatives and close friends be immersed by the authority of Jesus the Messiah. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
- Acts 11:1-3, 15 – The apostles and the brothers in Judea heard that non-Jewish people had also accepted God’s message. 2However, there were some Jewish believers who argued with Peter when he came back up to Jerusalem. 3They said, “You went into the homes of men who are not Jewish!a You even ate with them!”…15After I began my speech, the Holy Spirit came upon them, the same as He did upon us in the beginning [the apostles in acts 2]
- Acts 12:1-24 – During that same time, King Herod Agrippa I began to persecute some of the congregation. 2He ordered that James be killed with a sword. (James was the brother of John.) 3Herod saw that the Jewish leaders liked this. So he decided to arrest Peter, too. (This happened during the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.a) 4Herod had Peter arrested and put in jail. He turned Peter over to a group of 16 soldiers to guard him. Herod wanted to wait until after the Passover Festival. Then he planned to bring Peter before the people. 5So, Peter was kept in jail, but the congregation was constantly praying to God for Peter. 6Peter was sleeping between two of the soldiers. He was bound with two chains. More soldiers were guarding the jail entrance. It was at night, and Herod planned to bring Peter out to the people the next day. 7Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood there. A light shined in the cell. The angel touched Peter on the side and woke him up. The angel said, “Hurry, get up!” Then the chains fell off of Peter’s hands. 8The angel said to Peter, “Get dressed and put your shoes on.” So Peter did this. Then the angel said to him, “Put on your robe and follow me.” 9Then the angel went out and Peter followed. Peter didn’t know if the angel was really doing this. He kept thinking that he might be seeing a vision. 10Peter and the angel went past the first guard and the second guard. Then they came to the iron gate which separated them from the city. The gate opened for them by itself. Peter and the angel went through it and walked about a block. Then the angel suddenly left him. 11Then Peter realized what had happened. He thought, “Now I know that the Lord really did send his angel to me. He rescued me from Herod’s control and everything which the Jewish people were expecting.” 12When Peter realized this, he went to Mary’s house. She was the mother of John. (John was also called Mark.) Many people were gathered there; they were all praying. 13Peter knocked on the outside door. A servant girl named Rhoda came to answer it. 14Rhoda recognized Peter’s voice. She was so happy she even forgot to open the door. Instead, she ran inside and told the group, “Peter is at the door!” 15The believers said to Rhoda, “You are crazy!” But she kept insisting that it was true. So they said, “It must be Peter’s angel.” 16Peter continued to knock. When the believers opened the door, they saw Peter. They were amazed. 17Peter made a sign with his hand to tell them to be quiet. He explained to them how the Lord led him out of jail. He said, “Tell James and the other brothers what happened.” Then Peter left to go to another place [in hiding]. 18The next day, the soldiers were very upset. They wondered what had happened to Peter. 19Herod looked everywhere for Peter, but couldn’t find him. Herod asked the guards many questions and tortured them. Then he gave the order that the guards be killed. Later, Herod left Judea. He went down to the city of Caesareab and stayed there for a while. 20Herod was very angry with the people from the cities of Tyre and Sidon. However, they were able to get Blastus on their side. (Blastus was the king’s personal servant.) They came to Herod with one purpose in mind: They wanted peace, because their country needed food from Herod’s country. 21Herod decided on a day to meet with them. On that day, Herod was wearing a beautiful royal robe. He sat on his throne and made a speech to the people. 22The people shouted, “This is not the voice of a man; it is the voice of a god!” 23But Herod didn’t give the glory to God. So, an angel of the Lord caused him to become sick. He was soon eaten by worms inside him, and he died. 24The message of God was spreading.0000000 and influencing more and more people. The group of believers became larger and larger.
- Between now and Acts 15, all the apostles left permanently.
- Acts 15:2 – Paul and Barnabas were very much opposed to this teaching. They argued with these men about it. So, the group decided to send Paul, Barnabas, and some other men up to Jerusalem. These men were going there to talk more about this issue with the apostles and elders.
- Acts 15:22 – Paul and Barnabas were very much opposed to this teaching. They argued with these men about it. So, the group decided to send Paul, Barnabas, and some other men up to Jerusalem. These men were going there to talk more about this issue with the apostles and elders.
- Acts 21:17-18 – Later, we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers there were very happy to see us. 18The next day, Paul went with us to visit James. All of the elders were there, too. 19Paul
WILLIAM STEURT MC BIRNIE:
- THE SEARCH FOR THE TWELVE APOSTLES – Polycarp, a student of John’s, told Irenaeus John lived in Ephesus except for his time on the Isle of Patmos. Eusebius said that, after the Roman Emperor, Domitian died, those he’d exiled were freed, including John, and that John returned to Ephesus. He died 68 years after Jesus’ death. Eusebius also said that John was buried in Ephesus and a monument was still there.
SPECIAL CHARACTERS APPEARING IN OTHER EPISODES
Season 2, Hearts Afire, “Unlikely Crew”
Season 3, Folk Hero, “Golden Boy Conspiracy”
Season 4, Flood Gates, “Portals of Paradise”
Season 5, Promise Keeper, “Day Extraordinaire”
Season 5, Promise Keeper, “God Essence”