Have you ever wondered how Jesus chose His 12 disciples? The Bible provides us with a glimpse into this selection process. Let’s take a closer look.
The Calling of the Disciples
Jesus’ ministry began when He was baptized by John the Baptist. After His baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days and nights. When He returned, He began calling His disciples.
The First Disciples: Simon Peter and Andrew
According to the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee when He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew. They were fishermen and Jesus said to them, “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19)
Simon Peter and Andrew immediately left their nets and followed Jesus. This was the beginning of their journey as disciples.
The Other Disciples
As Jesus continued His ministry, He called more disciples to follow Him. In Luke 6:13-16, we are given a list of all 12 disciples:
- Simon (whom he named Peter)
- Andrew (Peter’s brother)
- James son of Zebedee
- John (James’ brother)
- James son of Alphaeus
- Simon who was called the Zealot
- Judas son of James (not Judas Iscariot who betrayed him)
- Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him)
The Criteria for Selection
Jesus did not choose His disciples at random. In fact, there were specific criteria that He looked for in His followers.
They Had to Be Willing to Follow Jesus
When Jesus called His first disciples, they immediately left their nets and followed Him. This demonstrated their willingness to obey and follow Jesus.
They Had to Believe in Jesus
Jesus wanted His disciples to have faith in Him. In Matthew 16:13-20, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” This confession of faith demonstrated that Peter believed in Jesus.
They Had to Be Committed to Spreading the Gospel
Jesus chose His disciples to be His witnesses and to spread the gospel message. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commanded His disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Jesus chose His 12 disciples based on their willingness to follow Him, their belief in Him, and their commitment to spreading the gospel message. These men played a significant role in Jesus’ ministry and continue to inspire us today.