And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. Luke 9:1-6
If we follow the path of our current research, Jesus discipled John. John discipled Polycarp of Smyrna whose martyrdom got the church fired up. Polycarp discipled Irenaeus of Lyons. Yesterday we noted that he went to Rome to refute many heresies. There, he discipled Hippolytus of Rome.
Hippolytus gives a striking summary of the 12 in baker’s dozen style (Luke 9:1-6). He adds Paul to the list to make it 13. He also provides for us the oldest extant list of the 70 (Luke 10:1-7). Today’s post we will see his comments on the Twelve Apostles. Then, on 7 days after that, while I am in meetings in Mexico City discussing the role of key people serving with us 2×2 in Central and South America, look to learn about 10 per day.
“Hippolytus on the Twelve Apostles: where each of them preached, and where he met his end.
1. Peter preached the Gospel in Pontus, and Galatia, and Cappadocia, and Betania, and Italy, and Asia, and was afterwards crucified by Nero in Rome with his head downward, as he had himself desired to suffer in that manner.
2. Andrew preached to the Scythians and Thracians, and was crucified, suspended on an olive tree, at Patrae, a town of Achaia; and there too he was buried.
3. John, again, in Asia, was banished by Domitian the king to the isle of Patmos, in which also he wrote his Gospel and saw the apocalyptic vision; and in Trajan’s time he fell asleep at Ephesus, where his remains were sought for, but could not be found.
4. James, his brother, when preaching in Judea, was cut off with the sword by Herod the tetrarch, and was buried there.
5. Philip preached in Phrygia, and was crucified in Hierapolis with his head downward in the time of Domitian, and was buried there.
6. Bartholomew, again, preached to the Indians, to whom he also gave the Gospel according to Matthew, and was crucified with his head downward, and was buried in Allanum, a town of the great Armenia.
7. And Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia.
8. And Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians, and Margians, and was thrust through in the four members of his body with a pine spears at Calamene, the city of India, and was buried there.
9. And James the son of Alphaeus, when preaching in Jerusalem. was stoned to death by the Jews, and was buried there beside the temple.
10. Jude, who is also called Lebbaeus, preached. to the people of Edessa, and to all Mesopotamia, and fell asleep at Berytus, and was buried there.
11. Simon the Zealot, the son of Clopas, who is also called Jude, became bishop of Jerusalem after James the Just, and fell asleep and was buried there at the age of 120 years.
12. And Matthias, who was one of the seventy, was numbered along with the eleven apostles, and preached in Jerusalem, and fell asleep and was buried there.
13. And Paul entered into the apostleship a year after the assumption of Christ; and beginning at Jerusalem, he advanced as far as Illyricum, and Italy, and Spain, preaching the Gospel for five-and-thirty years. And in the time of Nero he was beheaded at Rome, and was buried there.”
Hippolytus of Rome in On the End of the World, 49.
Undoubtedly you recognized the names. What touched you? If look up the cities and/or regions where they ministered on a first century map of the Mediterranean world, what do you discover?
I see the impact a person can make when working as part of a team to advance a larger movement. Every person matters. We can change the world if we do our part in a region by living out our part in God’s bigger story.
Today in Mexico City our GTP team starts with fasting, reading Scripture to confess our dependence on God to guide us, and praying for the Spirit to guide our discernment retreat. Pray for us please.
And consider what part you will play in God’s bigger story.