Our influence on others

John 21:2 - There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

 

See C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Documents\LUKE\05v08 - 2.doc to see the four times that Jesus Christ called Peter to himself.  John 21 is the four times Jesus called Peter from the shores of Galilee, desiring he stop fishing and follow him.

 

There were seven disciples gathered together.

1.       Simon Peter

2.       Thomas called Didymus

3.       Nathanael of Cana in Galilee

4.       James the son of Zebedee

5.       John the son of Zebedee

6.       An unknown disciple

7.       An unknown disciple

 

There is little profit in trying to guess who the two unknown disciples are.

Simon Peter seems to be leader of the group, as he outspoken.

I believe these seven disciples have known each other for a long time.

1.       James and John (the sons of Zebedee) and Peter and Andrew were apparently in a fishing partnership.  See Luke 5:7 coupled with Luke 5:2.  See also Matthew 4:18-22 where James, John, Peter and Andrew were all called into the membership of the first local church at the same time.

2.       Nathanael was introduced to Christ at the same time as Peter.  Nathanael is not an apostle, but probably traveled with Christ.  At least, he is with Christ as the beginning and at the end of his ministry.  There is some reliable consideration that Nathanael and Bartholomew is the same person.  See Smith’s Bible Dictionary (On-Line Bible) topic Nathanael.

a.       John 1:42 records that Andrew introduced Peter to Christ.

b.       John 1:43-51 – The next day after Christ renames Peter, Jesus desires Philip to follow him, and Philip introduced Nathanael to Christ.

3.       Thomas is one of the apostles, therefore has traveled with Christ for more than three years, so he is well acquainted with Peter.

 

It is interesting to note the apostles who were not there.

  1. Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter.
  2. Philip
  3. Matthew
  4. James the son of Alphaeus
  5. Simon called Zelotes
  6. Judas the brother of James

 

It is likely the two unknown disciples were Andrew and Philip.  I conclude this simply because Andrew and Peter are brothers and Andrew introduced Peter to Christ.  Philip introduced Nathanael to Christ.  (I realize these are not very inclusive reasons, but right now, this is the best I have – grin.)

 

If my conclusions are correct, the four disciples who did not go fishing with Peter are:

  1. Matthew
  2. James the son of Alphaeus
  3. Simon called Zelotes
  4. Judas the brother of James

 

It is interesting to note that although Peter is the “leader” of this group, he apparently does not become the pastor of the church at Jerusalem.  James seems to be that pastor.  Paul (whose name was changed from Saul) becomes the leader of missionary endeavors.  Others, whom God chooses, often replace those that seem to be in leadership.  Peter does not have jealously because of this “power transfer”.  Neither should we when “power” is transferred from us to others.  God always put the man in control he wants in control. 

 

It is totally necessary that we be careful what we do, because others are being influenced by us, just as we are being influenced by others.