When it comes to the topic of how Jesus selected his disciples, there are a few different accounts in the Bible that give us insight into this process. Through examining these accounts, we can gain a better understanding of how Jesus chose the individuals that would become some of his closest followers and ultimately play important roles in spreading his message.
One of the first things to note is that Jesus didn’t simply select anyone who was willing to follow him. In fact, he was often quite intentional in choosing individuals who might not have been considered obvious choices by others. For example, one of the most well-known stories of Jesus calling a disciple involves a tax collector named Matthew.
Matthew was likely despised by many people in Jewish society at the time because he was seen as a traitor for working with the Roman authorities and collecting taxes from his fellow Jews. Despite this, Jesus saw something valuable in Matthew and called him to be one of his disciples. Matthew eventually became one of the twelve apostles and wrote one of the four Gospels.
Another example of Jesus intentionally choosing someone unexpected is found in the story of Peter. Peter was a fisherman by trade and likely didn’t have any formal religious training or education.
Yet, Jesus saw potential in Peter and called him to be one of his closest followers. Peter went on to become a leader among the disciples and played an integral role in spreading Christianity after Jesus’ death.
So how did Jesus go about selecting these individuals? In many cases, it seems that he simply approached them directly and invited them to follow him.
For example, when he met Simon (who would later be called Peter), Jesus told him, “Come, follow me.” (Mark 1:17). Similarly, when he encountered James and John while they were fishing with their father Zebedee, he said to them “Come, follow me..” (Matthew 4:19).
In other cases, it seems that Jesus may have spent more time getting to know individuals before calling them to be disciples. For example, in the Gospel of John, we read about Jesus meeting a man named Philip and inviting him to follow him.
After Philip agrees, he goes and tells his friend Nathanael about Jesus. Nathanael is initially skeptical but eventually becomes a disciple as well.
Overall, it’s clear that Jesus was intentional in selecting his disciples and often chose individuals who might not have been considered obvious choices by others. Through examining these stories, we can gain insight into the qualities that Jesus valued in his followers – things like faith, humility, and a willingness to learn and grow. And while we may not be called to be disciples in the same way that these individuals were, we can still strive to embody these same qualities in our own lives as we seek to follow Jesus’ example.