What Were the Disciples Doing Before Jesus Called Them?

The disciples of Jesus Christ are some of the most well-known individuals in human history. They were the chosen twelve that Jesus called to follow him and spread his message throughout the world. But what were these men doing before Jesus called them?

Simon Peter

Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade. He lived in the town of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee and worked with his brother Andrew as a fisherman. The two brothers owned their own fishing business, which would have been a lucrative profession at the time.

James and John

James and John were brothers who also worked as fishermen with their father Zebedee. They were partners with Simon Peter and Andrew, which means they likely knew each other before they became disciples.


Matthew, also known as Levi, was a tax collector before he became a disciple. Tax collectors were not well-liked in Jewish society because they worked for the Roman government and often took advantage of their own people.


Thomas, also known as Didymus, is believed to have been a merchant or carpenter before he became a disciple.

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot is perhaps the most infamous of all the disciples because he betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Before he became a disciple, he was likely involved in some sort of business or trade.


Nathanael is not mentioned as much in the Bible as some of the other disciples, but he was still an important part of Jesus’ inner circle. Before he became a disciple, he may have been a student or teacher of Jewish law.


In conclusion, it’s clear that most of the disciples were working regular jobs before Jesus called them. They were fishermen, tax collectors, merchants, and carpenters.

But when Jesus called them to follow him, they dropped everything to become his disciples. Their lives were forever changed by their decision to follow Jesus, and their impact on the world continues to be felt today.

  • Simon Peter: Fisherman
  • James and John: Fishermen
  • Matthew: Tax Collector
  • Thomas: Merchant or Carpenter
  • Judas Iscariot: Likely involved in business or trade
  • Nathanael: Possibly a student or teacher of Jewish law

Note: The information presented here is based on historical and biblical records and may not be entirely accurate.