Did Jesus Have Disciples or Apostles?

When we talk about Jesus and his followers, the terms “disciples” and “apostles” are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two. Understanding this difference helps us gain a deeper insight into the teachings of Jesus and the role of his followers in spreading his message.

Disciples:

Disciples refer to those who followed Jesus during his lifetime. They were mostly ordinary people, fishermen, tax collectors, etc., who left everything behind to follow him. They were attracted by his teachings and miracles and wanted to learn from him.

Jesus had many disciples during his ministry. In fact, at one point, he had so many followers that he appointed seventy-two of them to go out and spread his message (Luke 10:1).

The disciples accompanied Jesus everywhere he went and listened to him teach. They also witnessed the miracles he performed.

Some well-known disciples include Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot.

Apostles:

The term “apostle” comes from the Greek word apostolos which means messenger or envoy. In Christianity, it refers specifically to those chosen by Jesus to carry on his mission after his death and resurrection.

While all apostles were initially disciples of Jesus during his lifetime (except for Paul), not all disciples became apostles. The twelve apostles were specially chosen by Jesus to be with him throughout his ministry and were given a specific mission after his death.

The twelve apostles are Simon Peter (also known as Cephas), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James’ brother), Philip, Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael), Thomas (also known as Didymus), Matthew (also known as Levi), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas, son of James or Lebbaeus), Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot (who betrayed Jesus).

Conclusion:

In conclusion, while all apostles were initially disciples, not all disciples became apostles. The disciples were those who followed Jesus during his lifetime and witnessed his teachings and miracles. The apostles were specifically chosen by Jesus to carry on his mission after his death and resurrection.

Understanding the difference between these two terms helps us gain a deeper insight into the role of Jesus’ followers in spreading his message. It also shows us how important it is to be chosen by God for a specific mission and how we can serve him best.