The Twelve Disciples
Twelve Disciples Bible Study by Douglas Connelly
*The questions used here are adapted from the questions used in Deep Dive*
Most people know the “Twelve Disciples”, but primarily as a group of twelve, with a couple who we can name individually. We don’t really know the twelve disciples as individuals, yet each disciple plays their own role in Jesus’ life and ministry. As students and young adults who are discovering your gifts, your talents, and your place in the world, you may find a deep into the twelve disciples helpful in your journey. Each disciple plays an integral role into the group of twelve, not just as a member of the twelve but as individuals. You, too, play an integral role in this world.
James is one of the three disciples in Jesus’ inner circle, and yet, he is one of the least well known of the twelve disciples. He never appears in his own solo story in the gospels, instead he is also referenced in partnership with his brother, the more well-known, John. What is it about James that both draws us in and has kept at a distance?
Who are the key figures in this passage? What role does each person play in the passage?
What is something you wonder about James and/or his role as a disciple during Jesus’ ministry on earth and post-resurrection?
Do you ever feel like James, in the sense where you feel invisible or unnoticed by others?
What was happening in the gospel passage with regards to Jesus ministry?
What is the Samaritans response to Jesus and his followers?
How have you experienced someone rejecting you based on personal prejudice or some other petty reason?
What sort of spiritual leaders would James and John have been at this point in their ministry?
What do you think was the reason for Jesus rebuke?
What was Jesus trying to do through his response and relocation?
What is the benefit to exposing rebellion in the lives of others who are following Jesus? What are some of the guidelines in doing this?
In our Acts passage, James is the first apostle who is killed (or martyred), while Peter is saved at the very same time. How might you explain to someone why God saved Peter and let James die?
What are some ways that James encourages you in your life? What are some ways that you don’t want to be like James?