Is Luke One of the 12 Disciples of Jesus?

The question of whether Luke is one of the 12 disciples of Jesus is a common one among Christians. While there is no clear answer, there are several factors that suggest he was not.

Luke’s Background

Luke was a physician and writer who lived in the first century AD. He is best known for writing the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles, which together make up a significant portion of the New Testament. While Luke was a close associate of several of Jesus’ disciples, including Paul, there is no evidence to suggest that he was one of the original 12.

The Twelve Disciples

According to the Bible, Jesus chose 12 men to be his disciples. These men were Simon Peter, Andrew, James son of Zebedee, John, Philip, Bartholomew (or Nathanael), Matthew (or Levi), Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus (or Judas son of James), Simon the Zealot (or Simon the Cananaean), and Judas Iscariot. These men were chosen specifically by Jesus to be his closest followers and were present for many important events in his life.

What About Matthias?

After Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus and committed suicide, the remaining disciples chose Matthias to take his place as one of the 12. This suggests that even after Jesus’ death and resurrection, it was important to maintain a group of 12 apostles.

Luke’s Relationship with the Disciples

While Luke was not one of the original 12 disciples chosen by Jesus during his ministry on earth, he did have close relationships with many of them. In particular, Luke was closely associated with Paul during his missionary journeys throughout the Mediterranean world. In fact, many scholars believe that Luke may have been Paul’s personal physician.


While there is no clear evidence to suggest that Luke was one of the 12 disciples of Jesus, he was a close associate of many of them and played an important role in spreading the message of Christianity throughout the world. Whether or not Luke was one of the 12 is ultimately a matter of interpretation, but what is clear is that his contributions to the New Testament are invaluable and continue to inspire Christians around the world today.