In the New Testament, Jesus calls twelve men to be his disciples. They would become known as the Twelve Apostles and were chosen by Jesus to spread His teachings and carry out His mission.
But in what order did Jesus call his disciples? Let’s take a closer look.
Simon Peter and Andrew
The first two disciples that Jesus called were brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew. According to the Gospel of Matthew, they were fishermen who were casting their nets into the sea when Jesus approached them and said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) The brothers immediately left their nets and followed Jesus.
James and John
The next two disciples that Jesus called were also brothers, James and John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee mending their nets when Jesus called them. In Mark 1:19-20, it says that “immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed Him.”
Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town as Peter and Andrew. When Philip met Jesus, he immediately recognized him as the Messiah.
In John 1:43-44, it says that “the next day He purposed to go into Galilee, and He found Philip. And Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me.'”
Nathanael is believed to be the same person as Bartholomew in other accounts of the disciples’ names. According to the Gospel of John, Nathanael was skeptical when he first heard about Jesus but changed his mind after meeting him.
When Philip told Nathanael about Jesus, Nathanael responded with doubt saying “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46) But when he met Jesus, Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49)
Matthew was a tax collector when Jesus called him. In Matthew 9:9 it says, “As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, ‘Follow Me!’ And he got up and followed Him.”
Thomas is best known for his doubt regarding Jesus’ resurrection. But before that, he was one of the twelve disciples that Jesus called. In John 11:16 it says that Thomas was willing to die with Jesus when they went to visit Lazarus’ tomb.
James son of Alphaeus
James son of Alphaeus is not as well-known as some of the other disciples, but he is still an important part of the Twelve Apostles. There is not much information about James in the Bible except for his name being listed among the disciples.
Judas Iscariot is perhaps the most infamous disciple due to his betrayal of Jesus. Nevertheless, he was still one of the twelve that Jesus called. In Matthew 10:4 it lists Judas as one of the twelve disciples.
Simon the Zealot
Simon the Zealot is believed to have been a political activist who wanted to overthrow Roman rule in Palestine. Despite his radical beliefs, Simon became a disciple of Jesus and worked alongside another Simon (Peter) who had very different political views.
Judas (not Iscariot)
The final disciple that Jesus called was another Judas. In Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13, he is referred to as “Judas of James” or “Judas the son of James.” Not much is known about him except for his name being listed among the disciples.
In conclusion, Jesus called his disciples in a specific order, but each one played an important role in spreading His message. From fishermen to tax collectors to political activists, Jesus chose a diverse group of men to follow Him and carry out His mission.