Simon the Zealot
Scripture tells us almost nothing about Simon. In the Gospels, he is mentioned in three places,
but only to list his name. In Acts 1:13 we learn that he was present with the apostles in the upper
room of Jerusalem after Christ had ascended to heaven.
Beyond those few details, we can only speculate about Simon and his designation as a Zealot.
Simon the Zealot, one of Jesus Christ's 12 apostles, is a mystery character in the Bible.
We have one tantalizing bit of information about him, which has led to ongoing debate among
In some versions of the Bible (Amplified Bible), he is called Simon the Cananaean.
In the King James Version and New King James Version, he is called Simon the Canaanite or
Cananite. In the English Standard Version, New American Standard Bible, New International
Version, and New Living Translation he is called Simon the Zealot.
To confuse things further, Bible scholars argue over whether Simon was a member of the radical
Zealot party or whether the term simply referred to his religious zeal. Those who take the former
view think Jesus may have chosen Simon, a member of the tax-hating, Roman-hating Zealots,
to counterbalance Matthew, a former tax collector and employee of the Roman empire.
Those scholars say such a move by Jesus would have shown that his kingdom reaches out to people in all walks of life.
Accomplishments of Simon the Zealot:
Scripture tells us almost nothing about Simon. In the Gospels, he is mentioned in three places, but only to list his name with the 12 disciples. In Acts 1:13 we learn that he was present with the 11 apostles in the upper room of Jerusalem after Christ had ascended to heaven.
Church tradition holds that he spread the gospel in Egypt as a missionary and was martyred in Persia.
Simon the Zealot's Strengths:
Simon left everything in his previous life to follow Jesus. He lived true to the Great Commission after Jesus' ascension.
Simon the Zealot's Weaknesses:
Like most of the other apostles, Simon the Zealot deserted Jesus during his trial and crucifixion.
Jesus Christ transcends political causes, governments, and all earthly turmoil.
His kingdom is eternal. Following Jesus leads to salvation and heaven.
Referenced in the Bible:
Matthew 10:4, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts1:13.
Unknown, then disciple and missionary for Jesus Christ.