The 12 Apostles

St. John Chrysostom

St. John Chrysostom in one of his commentaries on the Psalms marveled at the great success of the Apostles: they were 12 men against the entire world, sheep in the midst of wolves and yet the sheep triumphed!   They triumphed not by means of civil power, but because they obeyed Christ the Lord, and their own disciples recognizing their obedience to Christ, in turn obeyed Christ as well.

St. John wrote in his commentary that the key for the Apostles, which is still key to all of us who wish to be disciples of Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission  (Matthew 28) is to have Christ in us.

The 12 Apostles

“In sending them, remember, he said this: “See, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves,” something no less a marvel than the former one. After all, for those in the guise of sheep to prevail over wolves is no less remarkable than for those apprehended in the midst to overcome; but even more remarkable is for men twelve in number to win over the world.  Exercise dominion in the midst of your foes. He did not say, “Conquer in the midst of your foes,” but Exercise dominion so as to indicate not the spoils coming from battle array but the lordship coming from command. After all, the  apostles, having Christ within them, prevailed in the manner of people doing everything by command. Hence all doors were open to them, and the believers obeyed more compliantly than any slave, selling their possessions and laying the proceeds at the feet of the apostles, not presuming to take anything for their own needs.”  (St. John Chrysostom, Commentary on the Psalms, pg.18)