THE TWELVE FRIENDS
 SO the King came out of the wilderness, with
his face shining like a star. But he still wore
his carpenter's clothes; and that kept most
people from knowing who he was, for with
most people clothes mean a great deal. Out
of the wilderness he came into the valley of
the river, and there was John the Baptist
preaching. And the King walked slowly by
along the road, and John looking over the
heads of the crowd saw him. And he spoke to
two men who stood beside him. "There he is,"
he said. "There is the King of Glory." And
immediately the two men followed the King.
One of these men was named Andrew; the
other was named John. We will call him John
the Apostle, to distinguish him from John
the Baptist; though after this we shall not
hear much about John the Baptist,—except
once. Andrew and the new John were fishermen
from the Lake of Galilee. They lived
 in Capernaum or in Bethsaida: the towns
were close together. They were partners in the
fishing business. Each of them had a brother.
Andrew's brother was named Peter, and John's
brother was named James. They were all
partners together, these four friends.
Each of the pairs of brothers had a good
mother. The mother of Andrew and Peter
was named Mary, and the mother of John and
James was named Salome. The mothers were
neighbors and good friends, like the sons.
Both of them became friends of the King, and
went about with him and with their sons, and
cared for them. But Salome had been a friend
of the King from his boyhood, for she was
his aunt. Our Lord's mother was her sister.
Thus James and John were our Lord's cousins.
It is likely that Jesus had known all four of
these young fishermen for many years, Capernaum
being but a little way from Nazareth.
Probably they were all about the same age,—about
thirty; though Peter was older than
John, for, as we shall see by and by, he could
not run so fast.
 Andrew and John were the first to join
themselves to the King, hearing what John
the Baptist said. They followed Jesus, and
he heard their footsteps as they came hurrying
after him, and turned about and said,
"Whom are you looking for?" They answered,
with deep reverence, bowing down, "Master,
where are you staying?" And he said, "Come
and see." So they went on together, the King
and the two fishermen, and spent that afternoon
talking till the sun went down, asking
questions and answering them.
The next day, Andrew found Peter and
brought him to Jesus; and John found James.
Then our Lord himself found Philip, who was
already a friend of the four partners, and, like
them, a fisherman. Philip had a friend named
Bartholomew, also called Nathaniel, who lived
in Cana, not far from Nazareth and not far
from Capernaum. Philip told Bartholomew
that they had found the Messiah, that his
name was Jesus, and that he came from Nazareth.
Bartholomew could not believe it. He
knew Nazareth as we know any little homely
 town in our neighborhood. It seemed impossible
that any good thing could come out of
Nazareth. But Philip said, "Come and see."
And Bartholomew came and saw and believed.
Thus already six friends had gathered about
the King. Nobody knows what Bartholomew's
trade was: he may have been a fisherman like
the other five. That was the chief business
of that neighborhood. There were many fish
in the Lake of Galilee, and when they were
caught and salted they were sent all over the
empire, and people ate them at fine dinners,
even in Rome. The fishermen did not get
rich, but they were by no means poor. James
and John and their father Zebedee had men
working for them. It was a healthy and happy
occupation for those who had strong arms and
an independent spirit and patience and courage.
They lived out of doors, with the wind
blowing in their brown faces. They were
accustomed to danger, for the lake was subject
to sudden storms. In such a life, these six—if
we may count the friend from Cana—had
passed their days since they were boys; and
 all that time had been good friends, not only
fishing together, but talking
together,—talking about the sermons at
the synagogue, and
the true life, and the world in which they
lived, and God above them and beside them.
They were just the men whom the King
wanted, manly and open-minded.
CHRIST AND THE FISHERMEN
By and by,—though this was after some
months,—the King invited six others. One
was named James, and was called "the little;"
either to distinguish him from our Lord's
cousin, or because he was a short man. Another
was Thomas, a very matter-of-fact
person, with a mind of his own, and rather
inclined to look on the dark side. Two were
named Judas, one of them being also called
Iscariot. That means a man from Kerioth,
a town of Judea, a long way from Capernaum.
Judas Iscariot was a stranger to the others;
but they came to know him only too well.
Another friend was Simon, who belonged to
a wild secret society called Zealots, who were
all the time laying plots against the Romans.
Another friend was Matthew.
 In the lists of the twelve friends, or, as they
are called, the twelve apostles, the name of
Judas Iscariot always comes last. But I have
here put Matthew at the end, partly because
it is likely that he was the last to be
called, and partly because there is a story
connected with his call. A great road ran through
Capernaum. Sometimes it was called the Way
of the Sea, and sometimes the Great West
Road. It connected the lands of the east with
the lands of the west, extending from beyond
Damascus to the coast of the Mediterranean.
Caravans, like trains of cars, were all the time
going back and forth over it. The Romans
had paved it, and kept it in good order, and
for this service they collected toll. There was
a toll-gate at Capernaum, and one of the men
who sat at the gate was Matthew. Many people
disliked Matthew very much, because he
worked for the Romans, and they hated the
Romans. They disliked him all the more because
he was a Jew. It seemed to them a
shameful thing that one of their own people
should be in the employ of the foreign
con-  querors. So Matthew was one of the most
unpopular persons in town. Few respectable
persons would have anything to do with him.
He had money and a large house, but his only
associates were those who were in his own
business. He had even been turned out of the
It is much to Matthew's credit that in spite
of all this he was a good man. The six fishermen,
who saw Matthew at the toll-gate every
day, knew that; and they knew also that the
King did not care anything for popularity.
Wherever the King found a good man, he
loved him. It must have been pretty hard for
Simon to love Matthew, whom all his secret-society
friends hated so. But the toll-gate
was near the place where Jesus was accustomed
day by day to speak to the people.
And Matthew sat there, hearing every word
he said. Every sentence went into Matthew's
heart and stayed there. And one day, after
the sermon, the King passed by the gate
along the Way of the Sea, and as he went
he held up his hand to Matthew and said,
 "Follow me." And Matthew stood straight up,
and went out and followed him. That night
he gave a great dinner at his house, and had
all his friends there, a strange company, and
the King sat at the table. For Matthew felt
just as Andrew and John and Philip did;
having come himself to know Christ, he
wanted his friends to know him.
Thus there were twelve friends of the King,
according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And
they were called Apostles, which mean, Men
who are Sent; because our Lord was teaching
them so that he might send them to teach
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