Jesus Christ, the Son of God, had a divine mission on earth. He came to preach the word of God and save humanity from sin.
In order to carry out this mission, Jesus needed disciples who would follow him and help him spread his message. But how did Jesus decide his disciples? Let’s delve into this question.
The Calling of the Disciples
Jesus called his first disciples while they were fishing by the Sea of Galilee. He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, casting their nets into the sea and said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). The brothers immediately left their nets and followed Jesus.
Similarly, he called two other brothers, James and John, who were mending their nets with their father Zebedee. Jesus called them and they left their father in the boat with the hired men and followed him (Mark 1:19-20).
From these accounts, we can see that Jesus chose his disciples based on their willingness to follow him. He did not choose them based on their social status or education but rather on their faith in him.
The Criteria for Choosing Disciples
The Gospels do not provide any specific criteria that Jesus used to choose his disciples. However, we can infer from various accounts that he chose individuals who had a deep faith in God and were willing to surrender everything for his sake.
For example, Matthew was a tax collector before he became a disciple of Jesus. Tax collectors were despised by the Jews because they worked for the Roman government.
However, when Jesus saw Matthew sitting at his tax booth, he said to him “Follow me.” Matthew got up and followed him (Matthew 9:9). This shows that Jesus was willing to overlook Matthew’s past life if he was willing to follow him.
Another example is the calling of Nathanael. When Philip told Nathanael that they had found the Messiah, Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). But when Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
This statement surprised Nathanael and he asked Jesus how he knew him. Jesus replied, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael was amazed by Jesus’ knowledge and proclaimed him as the Son of God (John 1:47-49).
From these examples, we can see that Jesus chose his disciples based on their faith and willingness to follow him. He saw potential in them and was able to look beyond their past mistakes.
The Twelve Apostles
Jesus had many followers during his ministry on earth. However, he specifically chose twelve men to be his apostles. These were Simon Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John, Philip, Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael), Thomas, Matthew (also known as Levi), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.
These twelve men were chosen to be apostles because they had been with Jesus from the beginning of his ministry and had witnessed his miracles. They were also given authority by Jesus to preach the gospel and heal the sick (Matthew 10:1-8).
In conclusion, we can see that Jesus chose his disciples based on their faith in him and willingness to follow him. He saw potential in each individual and was able to look beyond their past mistakes.
The twelve apostles were specifically chosen to carry out a special mission of preaching the gospel and healing the sick. As followers of Jesus today, we can learn from his example and choose to follow him with all our hearts.