Why does Israel have 12 apostles?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Why did the Lord Jesus Christ choose twelve apostles during His earthly ministry? The Bible gives us the simple answer.

When God separated Abram (Abraham) from the human race in Genesis chapter 12, He purposed to create a nation for His name. Using Abraham’s bloodline, God would also send the King-Messiah-Redeemer (Jesus), the seed of the woman, that He promised in Genesis 3:15. As God swore, elderly Abraham and Sarah had their son Isaac (Genesis 17:1-22). Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob had twelve sons (Genesis 35:22-26). Jacob’s twelve sons head “the twelve tribes of Israel” (Genesis 49:1-28; Acts 7:8).

In Bible numerics, 12 is the number of the nation Israel. God used twelve men and their wives to give birth to the Jewish race. According to Matthew 19:27-28, when Jesus Christ came (First Advent), He chose 12 men to be His apostles, individuals that He sent out to evangelize the rest of Israel (Matthew 10:5-7). But, not only that… we gather from the Bible that Christ had actually chosen the twelve rulers of Israel, who would govern Israel when He would set up His kingdom!

Matthew 19:27-28 explains: “[27] Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? [28] And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”  Luke 22:29-30 elaborates even further: “[29] And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; [30] That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

The program operating during Christ’s earthly ministry was the prophetic program, which God had operated since the world began (Acts 3:21). Today, Israel’s program is currently interrupted by our mystery program, the Dispensation of Grace (Romans 16:25-26a). When this present dispensation is concluded (at the rapture), God will return to Israel’s program. After Jacob’s trouble (Daniel’s 70th week, the seven-year Tribulation), Jesus Christ, at His Second Coming, will return to establish His earthly kingdom. Then, He will fulfill Matthew 19:27-28. (Albeit, Matthias will assume Judas’ position; Acts 1:21-26.)

Why twelve apostles? Simply put, so Israel can one day have twelve princes, one prince for each tribe!

Also see:
» Why is the nation Israel in the Bible? (LINK TEMPORARILY UNAVAILABLE)
» Who replaced Judas—Matthias or Paul?
» What is “Replacement Theology?”