The terms “disciple” and “apostle” are often used interchangeably when referring to the followers of Jesus. However, there is a distinct difference between the two terms.
The meaning of disciple
A disciple is someone who follows a teacher or leader and learns from them. In the context of Christianity, a disciple is someone who follows Jesus Christ and learns from his teachings. The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word “discipulus,” which means “student.”
The meaning of apostle
An apostle is someone who is sent out on a mission. In the context of Christianity, an apostle is someone who is sent out to spread the gospel and establish churches. The word “apostle” comes from the Greek word “apostolos,” which means “one who is sent out.”
Jesus had many disciples during his time on earth. These were people who followed him, learned from him, and were trained by him. Some examples of Jesus’ disciples include Peter, James, John, Andrew, and Matthew.
Peter was one of Jesus’ closest disciples and was often referred to as the leader of the group. He was a fisherman before he met Jesus and became one of his first followers.
James and John
James and John were brothers who were also fishermen before they met Jesus. They were known as the “Sons of Thunder” because they had a fiery temperament.
Andrew was Peter’s brother and was also a fisherman before he met Jesus. He introduced Peter to Jesus and became one of his first followers.
Matthew was a tax collector before he met Jesus. He left his job to follow him and later became one of the twelve apostles.
The twelve apostles
Jesus chose twelve of his disciples to be apostles. These were men who were sent out on a mission to spread the gospel and establish churches. The twelve apostles are Peter, James, John, Andrew, Matthew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.
Judas Iscariot is the most well-known of the twelve apostles because he betrayed Jesus. He was the one who identified Jesus to the authorities and led them to him.
The difference between disciples and apostles
While all apostles are disciples, not all disciples are apostles. Jesus had many disciples during his time on earth but chose only twelve of them to be apostles. The main difference between the two is that disciples follow and learn from a teacher while apostles are sent out on a mission.
In conclusion, Jesus’ disciples were those who followed him and learned from his teachings while his apostles were those who were sent out on a mission to spread the gospel. While these terms may be used interchangeably today, it’s important to understand their distinct meanings in the context of Christianity.