How Many Disciples Did Jesus Call First?

When Jesus began his ministry, he called upon individuals to follow him and become his disciples. But how many disciples did he call first? Let’s explore this question in depth.

The First Disciples

According to the Bible, Jesus called upon two pairs of brothers to become his first disciples. They were Simon and Andrew, James and John. All four men were fishermen who were working on their boats when Jesus approached them.

The Call

Jesus simply said to Simon and Andrew, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed him. Similarly, when Jesus approached James and John, they too left their father and their fishing boat behind to follow him.

The Number of Disciples Grows

As Jesus began preaching and performing miracles, more people began to follow him. He then called upon additional disciples such as Philip, Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael), Matthew (also known as Levi), Thomas (also known as Didymus), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.


In summary, Jesus called upon four fishermen – Simon Peter, Andrew, James and John – to become his first disciples. As his ministry grew in popularity, he added more individuals to his group of followers until he had a total of twelve apostles.

  • Simon Peter
  • Andrew
  • James
  • John
  • Philip
  • Bartholomew (Nathanael)
  • Matthew (Levi)
  • Thomas (Didymus)
  • James (son of Alphaeus)
  • Thaddaeus (Judas son of James)
  • Simon the Zealot
  • Judas Iscariot

It is interesting to note that Jesus chose ordinary individuals to become his disciples. They were not scholars or religious leaders, but rather fishermen and tax collectors. Yet, these twelve men went on to spread Jesus’ message throughout the world and have a profound impact on Christianity.