When we think of disciples of Jesus, we often think of the twelve apostles who were chosen by Him to spread His teachings. However, there were actually many more disciples that followed Jesus during His time on earth. In this article, we’ll explore who these disciples were and what their roles were in spreading the word of Jesus.
Who Were the Disciples of Jesus?
The term “disciple” comes from the Greek word “mathetes,” which means “learner” or “follower.” In the New Testament, there are many references to disciples who followed Jesus. These individuals were not only men but also women who believed in His teachings and wanted to spread His message.
The 12 Apostles
The twelve apostles are perhaps the most well-known disciples of Jesus. They were chosen by Him to be His closest followers and to spread His message throughout the world. The names of the twelve apostles are Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John (brother of James), 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.
The Seventy-Two Disciples
In addition to the twelve apostles, Jesus also chose seventy-two other disciples to go out into the world and spread His message. These seventy-two were not as close to Jesus as the twelve apostles but were still important in spreading His teachings. According to Luke 10:1-20, these seventy-two were sent out two by two into every town and place where Jesus Himself was about to go.
The Women Disciples
While women during this time period did not have the same rights as men, Jesus still had women disciples who followed Him and spread His message. Some of the most well-known women disciples include Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna, and Salome. Mary Magdalene is often referred to as the “apostle to the apostles” because she was the first person to see Jesus after His resurrection and told the apostles about it.
What Did the Disciples Do?
The role of the disciples was to spread Jesus’ teachings throughout the world. They were to go out into all nations and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20).
The disciples traveled with Jesus during His ministry and witnessed firsthand His teachings and miracles. They also helped Him by performing miracles themselves (Mark 6:7-13).
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples continued to spread His message. They went out into various parts of the world, preaching about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. They also performed miracles in His name and baptized new believers.
While we may be familiar with only a few of Jesus’ closest followers, there were actually many more individuals who believed in His teachings and wanted to spread His message throughout the world. The twelve apostles were chosen by Jesus Himself to be His closest followers, but there were also seventy-two other disciples who helped spread His message.
Women also played an important role in spreading Jesus’ teachings. The disciples’ role was to go out into all nations and make disciples by spreading Jesus’ message through preaching, teaching, healing, baptism, and performing miracles in His name.