The story of how the disciples met Jesus is a fascinating one. Jesus, the Son of God, chose 12 ordinary men to follow him and become his closest companions. They would go on to witness some of the most remarkable events in history and spread the word of Jesus to all corners of the world.
The First Disciples
The first disciples that Jesus called were Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen, casting their nets into the Sea of Galilee when Jesus approached them and said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Without hesitation, they left their nets behind and followed him.
Soon after, Jesus called two more fishermen, James and John. They were mending their nets with their father when Jesus called them to follow him. They too dropped everything and followed him (Matthew 4:21-22).
The Calling of Matthew
Not all of the disciples were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector when he met Jesus. Tax collectors were notoriously despised in Jewish society because they worked for the Roman government and often overcharged people for taxes.
One day while sitting at his tax collector’s booth, Jesus approached Matthew and said, “Follow me.” Matthew immediately got up, left everything behind, and followed him (Matthew 9:9).
The Other Disciples
The remaining disciples are not mentioned by name in their calling stories but are listed in various accounts throughout the New Testament. They include Philip, Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael), Thomas (also known as Didymus), James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus (also known as Judas son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.
Each disciple had a unique background and personality but shared a common desire to follow Jesus and learn from him.
The Impact of Jesus on the Disciples
Jesus’ impact on the disciples was profound. They witnessed his miracles, heard his teachings, and saw firsthand the way he loved and served others. They became his closest friends and confidants, traveling with him throughout his ministry.
Their lives were forever changed by their encounter with Jesus. They went on to spread the gospel message throughout the world, even in the face of persecution and martyrdom.
The disciples met Jesus in different ways but all responded to his call to follow him. Their lives were transformed by their relationship with him, and they went on to carry out his mission long after he ascended into heaven.
Their story serves as a reminder that no matter our background or past mistakes, we too can be called by Jesus to follow him and make a difference in the world.