When Did Jesus Choose His 12 Disciples?

One of the most significant events in the life of Jesus Christ was the selection of his 12 disciples. These men were chosen to follow and learn from him, to spread his message, and to become the foundation of his Church.

But when did Jesus choose these 12 men Let’s take a closer look.

The Selection of the Disciples

According to the Bible, Jesus began his public ministry when he was around 30 years old. He spent time traveling throughout Galilee, preaching and performing miracles. As his popularity grew, he attracted a group of followers who were known as disciples.

However, it wasn’t until some time later that Jesus chose his 12 apostles. According to the Gospel of Luke (6:12-13), it happened like this:

“And it came to pass in those days that He went out into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called unto Him His disciples: and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles.”

This passage suggests that Jesus spent considerable time in prayer before making this important decision. It was not a random or impulsive choice but one that was made through careful consideration and divine guidance.

The Names of the Apostles

So who were these 12 men that Jesus chose The Bible provides us with their names:

  • Peter
  • Andrew
  • James (son of Zebedee)
  • John (brother of James)
  • Philip
  • Bartholomew
  • Matthew (also known as Levi)
  • Thomas
  • James (son of Alphaeus)
  • Thaddaeus (also known as Judas, son of James)
  • Simon the Zealot
  • Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed Jesus)

Each of these men had a unique background and personality, but they were all chosen by Jesus to be his closest companions.

The Role of the Apostles

After selecting his 12 apostles, Jesus gave them specific instructions. According to the Gospel of Matthew (10:5-6), he told them:

“These twelve Jesus sent forth and commanded them, saying, ‘Go not into the way of the Gentiles and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”

In other words, their mission was to share his message with the Jewish people. They were also given authority to heal diseases and cast out demons (Matthew 10:1).

Throughout his ministry, Jesus spent a great deal of time teaching and training his apostles. They witnessed many miracles and learned from his example. After his death and resurrection, they continued to spread his message throughout the world.

The Significance of Choosing 12 Disciples

The number 12 has significant meaning in both Jewish and Christian traditions. In Judaism, there were 12 tribes descended from Jacob (Israel). In Christianity, there are 12 apostles chosen by Jesus.

The selection of 12 disciples symbolizes a new Israel that is being established by Jesus Christ. Just as God established a covenant with Israel through Moses, Jesus is establishing a new covenant with humanity through his death and resurrection.


The selection of the 12 apostles by Jesus was a significant event in his ministry. It demonstrated his divine authority and provided the foundation for the Christian Church. Through careful consideration and prayer, he chose 12 men who would become his closest companions and play a vital role in spreading his message throughout the world.