How Many Disciples Did Jesus Send Out?

When Jesus was on earth, He had a significant impact on the lives of people around Him. He traveled all over the region, preaching and teaching about the Kingdom of God.

One of the most crucial moments in His ministry was when He sent out His disciples to continue spreading the Gospel after His ascension. But how many disciples did Jesus send out?

The Twelve Disciples

Most people are familiar with the twelve disciples that Jesus chose during His ministry. These men were Simon Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.

Jesus spent a lot of time teaching and training these men in preparation for their future ministry. In Matthew 10:5-6 (NIV), it says: “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: ‘Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.'”

So while Jesus did send out twelve disciples specifically at one point in time, He also instructed them to focus their efforts on spreading the Gospel to Jewish communities.

Other Disciples

In addition to these twelve chosen apostles, there were also many other disciples who followed Jesus during His ministry. Luke 10:1-2 (NIV) describes another instance where Jesus sent out a group of seventy-two disciples: “After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.

He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'”

These seventy-two were not the only other disciples that followed Jesus. In fact, there were likely many more who were not specifically named in the Bible.

  • Simon the Leper: Mentioned in Matthew 26:6-13
  • Joseph of Arimathea: Mentioned in Matthew 27:57-60
  • Nicodemus: Mentioned in John 3:1-21 and John 19:39-42
  • Mary Magdalene: Mentioned in all four Gospels as a close follower of Jesus and witness to His crucifixion and resurrection

The Importance of Discipleship

No matter how many disciples Jesus had, one thing is clear – He valued discipleship and intentional relationship-building with His followers. He spent time investing in their lives, teaching them about God’s Kingdom, and equipping them for ministry.

As Christians today, we are also called to be disciples of Jesus and to make disciples of others. In Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV), Jesus commands His followers to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Whether we are part of a small group, mentoring someone one-on-one, or simply living out our faith in our daily lives, we have the opportunity to follow Jesus’ example by investing in others and sharing His love with those around us.

In Conclusion..

While we don’t know exactly how many disciples Jesus had during His time on earth, it is clear that He valued intentional relationship-building with those who followed Him. As we seek to live out our faith and make disciples of others, may we follow His example by investing in the lives of those around us and sharing the love of Christ with everyone we meet.