The Twelve Disciples and Apostles

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there are 10 items I want to memorize with my son over his 9 short weeks of summer vacation. The first on the list is the names of the twelve disciples/apostles. In pulling together resources to aid with this task, I discovered I can tie in information on the difference between a disciple and an apostle, as well as the Great Commission and essentially make some Bible lessons to go along with the memorization. Here are the resources I am going to use, and please feel free to use them with your own family.

1. The Twelve Disciples and Apostles (Story of a “Baker’s Dozen”) Egg Carton

Twelve Disciples and Apostles

I had seen something similar online that only included the twelve disciples. I wanted to go a little bit further, however and wanted to teach the name of Judas’s replacement too. So, here’s the song I created (which is pasted into the inside of the carton) as well as the print-off for the 12 disciples and the apostle Matthias (taken from websites that offered them freely to public use). I couldn’t find a “Matthias” pre-colored character that matched the others, so I let my son color Matthias with markers. I used an egg carton that had the double layer of security to protect the eggs, and placed Matthias in a section all by himself. Hence, the baker’s dozen (13). :) Here are the print-outs:

Disciples and Apostles

The Twelve Disciples and Apostles

Now to the good stuff – lessons that can be used with this activity:

  • Difference between a disciple and an apostle: The Greek word for disciples is “mathetes” (which means “a learner, a pupil”). You could say the disciples were disciplined to learn what was taught (since the root of the word disciple is discipline). The disciples were students of Jesus and His teachings. The Greek work for apostles is “apostlos” which means “a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders.” The apostles (formerly disciples) were sent by God (specifically Jesus) to tell the gospel to the known world and make disciples of all the nations (the Great Commission). To summarize: Disciples – students, Apostles – delegates.
  • Jesus calling the twelve disciples Bible reading: Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:13-19, Luke 6:12-16, Acts 1:13, 26
  • The Great Commission Bible reading: Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8
  • Matthias selected to replace Judas Bible reading: Acts 1:15-26

2) Silly saying to help remember the names of the 12 disciples and Matthias. Again, had seen something similar online, but not exactly how I wanted it (plus it mentioned how yummy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were and my oldest is allergic to peanuts, so that would never do!). So here’s what I came up with:

Silly Saying for Disciples and Apostles

All thirteen men are included. I used the word “jester” for Judas (since one definition of jester is “fool”) and “merriment” was used for Matthias since he was chosen as the replacement apostle. Hopefully an easy way for children to recall the names of the men.

3) Twelve Disciples Hymn. Another great song, but this one is purely about the twelve disciples. The written lyrics are included below, and you can actually hear the song here.

There Were Twelve Disciples Hymn

If you’re interested in taking this study even further, there are some great websites with more information about the twelve disciples. Here’s a couple that dig more into who the disciples were and how Jesus approached them:

Who Were the Twelve Disciples

The Twelve Disciples of Jesus

The Twelve Disciples (Children’s Version)


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