Jesus gave each of the disciples a name that represents a deep spiritual truth. They're explained in turn below.
From the Greek "Petra," meaning "long haired rocker." Flowing locks are a sign of spiritual strength (remember Samson?).
Aramaic for "Hops." Benjamin Franklin said that "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
James and John Zebedee
The name "Zebedee" means "Son of Thunder," related to the twins' struggles with Irritable Bowel. As Paul counsels us, suffering leads to patience, patience to character, and character to hope.
Latin for "Git-er-done." As the Good Book says, "The prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Arabic. "Tessellation." Spiritual meaning unknown.
Greek, "Entomologist." From Proverbs, "Consider the ant, ye sluggard!"
"Alphaeus" is Latin for "First in God's eyes." We are all first in God's eyes.
Origin and meaning unknown. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Simon the Cananean
Greek, "Quick to Criticize." Again, from Proverbs, "As iron sharpeneth iron, so one man sharpeneth another."
Iscariot means "traitorous weasel" in Aramaic. As theologian Frosty Troy once put it, "Even Jesus didn't pick twelve winners."
[fifty-second in a series]