What Does the Number 12 Represent With His 12 Disciples Who Followed Jesus?

The number 12 is a significant number in many cultures and religions, including Christianity. In the Bible, Jesus had 12 disciples who followed him during his ministry on Earth. Each of these disciples played an important role in spreading Jesus’ message and teachings.

Who Were the 12 Disciples?

The 12 disciples were Simon Peter, Andrew, James (son of Zebedee), John (brother of James), Philip, Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael), Thomas (also known as Didymus), Matthew (also known as Levi), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas, son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.

The Significance of the Number 12

The number 12 appears throughout the Bible and has significant meaning. In the Old Testament, there were 12 tribes of Israel.

In the New Testament, there were 12 apostles chosen by Jesus. The number 12 symbolizes completeness and perfection.

The Role of the Disciples

Each disciple had their unique personality and skills that they brought to Jesus’ ministry. For example, Simon Peter was a fisherman who became a leader among the disciples.

John was called “the disciple whom Jesus loved” and was present at many significant events in Jesus’ life. Judas Iscariot famously betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Simon Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends and became a leader among the disciples after Jesus’ death. He is often considered to be the founder of the Christian Church.

John was another close friend of Jesus who is believed to have written several books in the New Testament, including the Gospel of John.

Judas Iscariot is infamous for betraying Jesus. He led the authorities to Jesus, which ultimately led to his crucifixion.

The Last Supper

One of the most famous events involving Jesus and his disciples was the Last Supper. This was the final meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion. During this meal, Jesus predicted that one of his disciples would betray him (referring to Judas Iscariot).

Jesus also instituted the sacrament of Communion during the Last Supper. He broke bread and shared wine with his disciples, telling them that they were symbols of his body and blood. This practice is still observed in many Christian churches today.

The Legacy of the Disciples

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the 12 disciples continued to spread his message throughout the world. They faced persecution and hardship but remained steadfast in their beliefs. Their teachings and writings helped shape the early Christian Church, and their legacy continues to this day.

  • Simon Peter founded several churches and wrote letters that are included in the New Testament
  • John wrote several books in the New Testament, including the Gospel of John, three letters, and the book of Revelation
  • Matthew wrote one of the four Gospels in the New Testament
  • Thomas traveled to India to spread Christianity and is believed to have founded several churches there


The number 12 holds significant meaning in Christianity, symbolizing completeness and perfection. The 12 disciples who followed Jesus played a crucial role in spreading his message throughout the world. Their legacy continues to this day through their teachings, writings, and influence on Christianity as a whole.