Why Were They All Willing to Die?

Why Were They All Willing to Die?

Their response as a result of their relationship with Jesus demonstrates the integrity of what we read in the Bible. Why would these men be willing to die in such horrific ways if they did not in fact believe deeply in the Jesus they knew and loved? There was no money or fame in first century Christianity. They simply believed, obeyed, and loved.

As far as we know, only the Apostle John died a natural death. All the other Apostles of Jesus died for their faith. They were killed because of their fidelity to the message of Jesus. That fact begs the question: Why were they all willing to die?

Why the Disciples Were Willing to Die

Why were they all willing to die? I think this question can be answered in three primary ways.

First, they realized that Jesus was everything that He said He was – the Son of God in the flesh. In the Bible, the Apostle John makes this case for us in 1 John 1.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us—that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:1-3)

Jesus was 100% a person who lived and walked with the Apostles for three years. He also was 100% God. That fact was manifested to them over and over throughout the Gospels. This Jesus the Apostle John wanted us to know.

Second, they received the power to be witnesses (Acts 1:8). Before Jesus left the earth, He promised that the Holy Spirit would be given to all of His followers to be witnesses. This gift of the Spirit was given to them in Acts 2, and the Holy Spirit has been given to all followers of Jesus Christ ever since (cf., Eph 1:19-23). In Acts, the Bible records Jesus’ words:

…But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

They each one lived consistent with this power received from God.

Third, they remained faithful while they waited for Jesus’ return. Jesus taught them in the week before He died to wait patiently for His return (cf., Matthew 24-25). They wanted to know many things – especially the future. Jesus reminded them that the exact nature of the time of His return was not theirs to know; however, they were to remain faithful (cf., Acts 1:7).

As Jesus ascended, the angel made this promise to the Apostles and others who were there watching the ascent into heaven:

And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:10-11)

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