For an account of the appointment of the apostles, see the notes at Matthew 10:1-4.
And calleth unto him whom he would - Those whom he chose; whom he was about to appoint to the apostleship. See the notes at John 15:16.
He ordained twelve - The word rendered “ordained” here does not express our notion of ordination to the ministry. It means, literally, “he made” - that is, he “appointed” twelve to be with him.
Twelve - The reason why “twelve” were chosen was, probably, that such a number would be deemed competent witnesses of what they saw; that they could not be easily charged with being excited by sympathy, or being deluded, as a multitude might; and that, being destined to go into all the world, a considerable number seemed indispensable. Perhaps, also, there was some reference to the fact that “twelve” was the number of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Boanerges - This word is made up of two Hebrew words signifying “sons of thunder,” meaning that they, on some accounts, “resembled” thunder. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. It is not known why this name was given to James and John. They are nowhere else called by it. Some suppose it was because they wished to call down fire from heaven and consume a certain village of the Samaritans, Luke 9:54. It is, however, more probable that it was on account of something fervid, and glowing, and powerful in their genius and eloquence.
Sometimes He taught them as they sat together on the mountainside, sometimes beside the sea, or from the fisherman's boat, sometimes as they walked by the way. Whenever He spoke to the multitude, the disciples formed the inner circle. They pressed close beside Him, that they might lose nothing of His instruction. They were attentive listeners, eager to understand the truths they were to teach in all lands and to all ages. Ed 85.1
The first pupils of Jesus were chosen from the ranks of the common people. They were humble, unlettered men, these fishers of Galilee; men unschooled in the learning and customs of the rabbis, but trained by the stern discipline of toil and hardship. They were men of native ability and of teachable spirit; men who could be instructed and molded for the Saviour's work. In the common walks of life there is many a toiler patiently treading the round of his daily tasks, unconscious of latent powers that, roused to action, would place him among the world's great leaders. Such were the men who were called by the Saviour to be His colaborers. And they had the advantage of three years’ training by the greatest educator this world has ever known. Ed 85.2
In these first disciples was presented a marked diversity. They were to be the world's teachers, and they represented widely varied types of character. There were Levi Matthew the publican, called from a life of business activity, and subservience to Rome; the zealot Simon, the uncompromising foe of the imperial authority; the impulsive, self-sufficient, warmhearted Peter, with Andrew his brother; Judas the Judean, polished, capable, and mean-spirited; Philip and Thomas, faithful and earnest, yet slow of heart to believe; James the less and Jude, of less prominence among the brethren, but men of force, positive both in their faults and in their virtues; Nathanael, a child in sincerity and trust; and the ambitious, loving-hearted sons of Zebedee. Ed 85.3Read in context »
The childhood of Jesus, spent in poverty, had been uncorrupted by the artificial habits of a corrupt age. Working at the carpenter's bench, bearing the burdens of home life, learning the lessons of obedience and toil, He found recreation amidst the scenes of nature, gathering knowledge as He sought to understand nature's mysteries. He studied the word of God, and His hours of greatest happiness were found when He could turn aside from the scene of His labors to go into the fields, to meditate in the quiet valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest. The early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the Scriptures, or in prayer. With the voice of singing He welcomed the morning light. With songs of thanksgiving He cheered His hours of labor and brought heaven's gladness to the toilworn and disheartened. MH 52.1
During His ministry Jesus lived to a great degree an outdoor life. His journeys from place to place were made on foot, and much of His teaching was given in the open air. In training His disciples He often withdrew from the confusion of the city to the quiet of the fields, as more in harmony with the lessons of simplicity, faith, and self-abnegation He desired to teach them. It was beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, but a little distance from the Sea of Galilee, that the Twelve were called to the apostolate and the Sermon on the Mount was given. MH 52.2
Christ loved to gather the people about Him under the blue heavens, on some grassy hillside, or on the beach beside the lake. Here, surrounded by the works of His own creation, He could turn their thoughts from the artificial to the natural. In the growth and development of nature were revealed the principles of His kingdom. As men should lift their eyes to the hills of God and behold the wonderful works of His hand, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth. In future days the lessons of the divine Teacher would thus be repeated to them by the things of nature. The mind would be uplifted and the heart would find rest. MH 54.1Read in context »
Hundreds of thousands of copies of Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing have been printed and distributed in nearly a score of languages since it was first published in 1896. In English-reading countries several editions with identical textual content but with variations in format and pagination have been widely distributed. To eliminate confusion in the use of the volume in reference work, a standard page has been adopted which will serve as the basis of present and subsequent printings. MB v.1
In several former editions, in an endeavor to achieve a certain format, selections from verses of poetry were, with the consent of the author, inserted by the publishers in a number of places throughout the text. In this edition, only poetry selected and made a part of the text by the author herself is retained. The addition of both scripture and subject indexes makes this volume more useful. MB v.2Read in context »