Monday, October 27, 2014

Do You Know the Significance of the Number 12 in the Bible?

Signs occur throughout the Bible. One of the greatest of all scriptures is in Luke 2:12 "This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in clothes and lying in a manger."

What a glorious sign that was for those shepherds that night.

But what about the number 12 and its significance in the Bible? Do you know how many times it is used and why?

1. In Genesis 35:22
...Jacob had twelve sons...

2. Genesis 49:28
All of these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

3. Matthew 10:1
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

4. Mark 3:14-16
He appointed twelve that they might be with him that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter) James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means "sons of thunder"), Andrew Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5. Luke 8: 42
because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying

6. Luke 8: 43
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years but no one could heal her

7. Luke 9:17
They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

8. Revelations 21:12
It had a great wall with twelve gates ...

9. Revelations 21:12
... and with twelve angels on the gates ...

10. Revelations 21:12
... On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel.

11. Revelations 21:14
The wall of the city had twelve foundations ...

12. Revelations 21:14
...and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Twelve times the number twelve is mentioned in the Bible.

So, why did Jesus only choose twelve apostles or disciples? Why were there only twelve tribes of Israel?

Did Jesus choose these men because of their faith? No, their faith faltered many times. He didn't choose them because of any special talent or abilities. They had no more leadership capabilities than any other man at that time. Then what was it about them?

They all shared one quality. A willingness to obey Jesus. Being a good disciple is simply a matter of following Jesus with a willing heart. Do you have a willing heart? Could you drop all your possessions and follow Jesus at a moment's notice?

So, why the number twelve?

Twelve is both literal and symbolic. There were twelve tribes and twelve apostles, however the number twelve also symbolizes the fullness and completeness particularly when it refers to the relationship between God and His people.

So, next time you are thinking about how you can fulfill your duties for Christ, don't discredit yourself for what you lack, or think of qualities you don't have. Obedience to Jesus and a willing heart is all you need.

Can you think of any better reason?

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Copyright: satit_srihin / 123RF Stock Photo

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