Luke 6: 14-16
Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
According to legend and early writings:
Simon Peter was crucified upside down at his request (as he did not feel worthy to die in the same way as Jesus) around 66 AD in the persecution from Emperor Nero.
Andrew having taken the gospel to Russia, then Turkey was crucified in Greece.
James the son of Zebedee was executed by Herod in 44AD and reported in Acts 12:2.
John is the only thought to have died a natural death on the island of Patmos, Greece, where he had been exiled.
Philip took the gospel to Tunisia and then to Turkey where he converted the wife of the Roman governor who on hearing this had him killed.
Bartholomew seemingly travelled great distances going into India, Armenia, Ethiopia and Yemen (Southern Arabia) where he was martyred.
Matthew took the gospel to Iran and then into Ethiopia where he was stabbed to death.
Thomas evangelised in Syria before going to India where he died by being pierced with the sword by soldiers.
James the son of Alpheus went to Syria and was stoned and then clubbed to death.
Simon the Zealot went to Iran and was killed there.
Judas son of James (also known as Thaddaeus) went to Iran and was killed by arrows.
Judas betrayed Jesus then later hanged himself.
Matthais replaced Judas after the betrayal and travelled to Syria with Andrew and was burnt to death.
They were called and chosen.
They had to learn obedience, one didn’t, the others also in many ways failed but they made a recovery to continue to follow.
They were not perfect and there were always people reminding them of it but they became empowered and changed men by the Spirit.
They had found something worth giving everything up for, the pearl of great price, who was worth dying for. They had found a cause to stake their whole life on.
But in truth it was them who had been found.
They had been lost men who Jesus found.
Jesus saw in them new names and purpose and he led them into their destiny.
These 12 names changed their world, our world.
That’s what it means to be called and chosen, anything less than this is not worth it.