What Names Did Jesus Call His Disciples?

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus had many followers who listened to his teachings and spread his message of love and redemption. However, there were twelve specific men whom Jesus called to be his closest followers.

These men were his disciples, and they accompanied him on his ministry journey throughout the land of Israel. But what names did Jesus call these disciples? Let’s take a closer look.

Who Were Jesus’ Disciples?

Before we dive into the names that Jesus called his disciples, let’s review who these men actually were. The twelve disciples were: 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 Names That Jesus Called His Disciples

While we don’t have an exact record of every individual name that Jesus called each disciple by, there are a few instances in the Bible where he does use specific names. Here are some examples:

  • Peter: This disciple was originally named Simon until Jesus gave him the name Peter, which means “rock.” In Matthew 16:18-19, Jesus says to Peter: “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church..I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. “
  • James and John: These two brothers were often referred to by Jesus as “Sons of Thunder,” possibly because they had fiery personalities. In Mark 3:17-18 it says: “James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘sons of thunder’)”.
  • Thomas: This disciple is perhaps best known for his doubting nature when it came to Jesus’ resurrection. However, in John 20:27, after Jesus appears to him and shows him his wounds, Thomas declares: “My Lord and my God! “
  • Matthew: This former tax collector was called by Jesus to be one of his disciples.

    In Matthew 9:9-13 it says: “As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. ‘Follow me,’ he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. “

  • Judas Iscariot: Unfortunately, this disciple is best known for betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. In Matthew 26:25, during the Last Supper, Judas asks Jesus: “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” To which Jesus responds: “You have said it. “

The Importance of Names

While it’s interesting to know the specific names that Jesus called his disciples by, what’s more important is the significance behind those names. In many cases, when Jesus gave a disciple a new name or referred to them by a certain title (such as “Sons of Thunder”), it was because he saw something special in them. He recognized their potential as leaders and wanted to encourage them in their faith.

Similarly, God often changes people’s names throughout the Bible as a way of signifying a change in their character or their role in His plan. For example, Abram became Abraham (which means “father of many nations”) when God made a covenant with him to make him the father of a great nation (Genesis 17:5). Jacob became Israel (which means “he struggles with God”) after wrestling with an angel and receiving a blessing from God (Genesis 32:28).

In conclusion, while we may not know exactly what names Jesus called his disciples on a day-to-day basis, we do know that he saw them as individuals with unique personalities and callings. By studying their lives and the names that were given to them, we can gain insight into how God works in the lives of His followers and how He can transform us as well.