The disciples of Jesus Christ are perhaps some of the most well-known individuals in religious history. These individuals were handpicked by Jesus himself to become his closest followers, and they were instrumental in spreading his message to the rest of the world. However, there is a great deal of debate surrounding when exactly the disciples began to truly believe in Jesus and understand the significance of his teachings.
The Early Days
When Jesus first began his ministry, he attracted a number of followers who were drawn to his teachings and his charismatic personality. Among these early followers were several individuals who would later become known as the twelve disciples. At this point, it is likely that these individuals believed in Jesus as a wise teacher or prophet but did not yet understand him to be the son of God.
As Jesus continued to perform miracles and demonstrate his divine power, many of his followers began to see him in a new light. The gospels describe a number of miraculous events performed by Jesus, from healing the sick and feeding thousands with just a few loaves of bread and fish to calming storms and even raising people from the dead.
These miracles helped to solidify the disciples’ belief in Jesus as someone with supernatural abilities and an undeniable connection to God. However, it is still unclear whether they fully understood him to be divine at this point.
One event that may have played a key role in helping the disciples fully understand who Jesus was occurred on a mountain top where they witnessed something incredible:
- Jesus was transfigured: His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
- Moses and Elijah appeared: Two of the most important figures in Jewish history appeared and spoke with Jesus.
- A voice from heaven spoke: The voice declared, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
This event, known as the Transfiguration, would have been an incredible experience for the disciples. It would have confirmed Jesus’ divine nature and helped them to fully understand the significance of his teachings.
The Crucifixion and Resurrection
Despite their growing belief in Jesus, the disciples were still caught off guard when he was arrested, tried, and ultimately crucified. This event left them confused and afraid, unsure of what to do next.
However, their faith was restored when Jesus miraculously rose from the dead three days later. His resurrection provided undeniable proof of his divine nature and served as a powerful confirmation of everything he had taught during his ministry.
The Great Commission
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples several times before ascending into heaven. During one of these appearances, he gave them what is known as the Great Commission:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
This commandment from Jesus would have been a powerful motivator for the disciples to continue spreading his message to others. It would also have reinforced their belief in him as someone with a divine mission that needed to be fulfilled.
The process by which the disciples came to believe in Jesus was a gradual one that took place over many years. While they likely believed in him as a wise teacher from the beginning, it wasn’t until they witnessed his miracles and experienced his resurrection that they fully understood him to be the son of God. Today, their unwavering faith in Jesus serves as an inspiration to millions of people around the world.