How Long Did the Disciples Know Jesus?

The duration of time that the disciples spent with Jesus is a matter of debate among scholars and theologians. While some believe that they were with him for three years, others speculate that it may have been much shorter or longer. Let’s explore this topic in greater detail.

What We Know About the Disciples

The disciples were a group of twelve men whom Jesus chose to be his closest followers and confidants. They were mostly fishermen by trade and hailed from Galilee. According to the Gospels, Jesus called them one by one to follow him, and they left their families and livelihoods behind to do so.

The Length of Time Spent With Jesus

While there is no definitive answer as to how long the disciples spent with Jesus, most scholars agree that it was likely around three years. This conclusion is based on several factors.

Firstly, the Gospel accounts indicate that Jesus began his public ministry around the age of thirty and was crucified at approximately thirty-three years old. During this time, he traveled extensively throughout Galilee and other regions, preaching and performing miracles.

Secondly, the Gospels suggest that the disciples were present for many of these events. They witnessed firsthand Jesus’ teachings, healings, and interactions with people from all walks of life.

Lastly, after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples continued to spread his message throughout Judea and beyond. This suggests that they had a deep understanding of his teachings and were able to carry on his work without him physically present.

Why It Matters

The length of time that the disciples spent with Jesus is significant for several reasons. Firstly, it provides context for their experiences and understanding of his teachings. Three years is a significant amount of time to spend with anyone, especially someone as influential as Jesus.

Secondly, it highlights their dedication to him. Leaving behind their families and livelihoods to follow Jesus was no small feat. It required a great deal of faith and trust in him.

Lastly, it underscores the importance of discipleship in the Christian faith. The disciples’ commitment to Jesus serves as an example for all believers to follow. It reminds us that following Christ requires sacrifice and dedication.


While we may never know exactly how long the disciples spent with Jesus, it is clear that their time with him was transformative. They witnessed firsthand his teachings, miracles, and ultimately his death and resurrection. Their experiences serve as a powerful reminder of the impact that one person can have on others and the world around them.