How Did Jesus Choose His First Four Disciples?

When we think of Jesus, we often picture him surrounded by his disciples. But have you ever wondered how he chose those first four followers? Let’s take a closer look at the story and see what we can learn.

The Call of the Disciples

The story of Jesus calling his first disciples can be found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 4, verses 18-22:

“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.

‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.

Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets.

Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him. “

The Context

It’s important to understand the context in which this story takes place. Jesus had just begun his ministry and was traveling around Galilee preaching about the kingdom of God. He had already gained a following among the people who had heard him speak or witnessed his miracles.

In Jewish culture at the time, it was common for rabbis to have disciples who would follow them and learn from them. These disciples would often become teachers themselves one day.

Jesus was not just any rabbi though – he was seen as a prophet and even as the long-awaited Messiah by some. So when he approached these fishermen with an invitation to follow him, it was a significant moment.

The Invitation

Notice that Jesus didn’t offer these men money or power or prestige – he simply said “Come, follow me.” But this invitation was not just a casual suggestion – it was a call to leave behind everything they knew and trusted in order to follow this new teacher.

It’s also interesting to note that Jesus didn’t choose the most educated or well-respected men of the time. These were fishermen, not scholars or religious leaders. But Jesus saw something in them that made him believe they were capable of following him and spreading his message.

The Response

What’s even more remarkable is how quickly these men responded to Jesus’ call. They didn’t hesitate or ask for more time to consider it – they immediately left their nets and their families and followed him.

This shows us that they must have recognized something special in Jesus too. Perhaps they had already heard about him from others, or perhaps his charisma and authority were evident from the moment he spoke to them.

The Lesson

So what can we learn from this story? First of all, we see that Jesus calls people from all walks of life to follow him. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fisherman or a tax collector or a Pharisee – if you have a heart for God and are willing to listen, he can use you.

We also see that following Jesus requires sacrifice. These men gave up their livelihoods and their families in order to follow him. While we may not be called to do something so dramatic, we should be willing to give up anything that might stand in the way of our relationship with God.

Finally, we see that when Jesus calls us, he expects us to respond immediately. We can’t put off following him until it’s convenient or until we’ve achieved certain goals – he wants us now, just as we are.

  • Key Takeaways:
  • Jesus chose his first disciples from among a group of fishermen.
  • He simply invited them to follow him, but this was a call to leave everything behind.
  • The disciples responded immediately, recognizing something special in Jesus.
  • Following Jesus requires sacrifice and a willingness to respond immediately when he calls.


The story of Jesus’ first disciples is a powerful reminder that God can use anyone who is willing to follow him. We don’t have to be perfect or have it all figured out – we just need to be willing to listen and obey. So let’s take inspiration from these fishermen and be ready to drop everything when Jesus calls us.