When Jesus Christ walked on earth, He had a mission to spread the word of God and to bring people closer to Him. One of the ways He did this was by inviting people to follow Him and become His disciples.
But who were the individuals that Jesus invited? Let’s take a closer look.
The Twelve Disciples
The twelve disciples were a group of men that Jesus handpicked to be His closest followers. They were:
- Peter: Also known as Simon, he was a fisherman from Bethsaida.
- Andrew: Peter’s brother, also a fisherman.
- James: The son of Zebedee, he was also called James the Greater.
- John: Another son of Zebedee, he was also called John the Beloved.
- Philip: A native of Bethsaida.
- Bartholomew: Also known as Nathanael, he was from Cana in Galilee.
- Matthew: A tax collector from Capernaum who later wrote one of the Gospels.
- Thomas: Also known as Didymus, he was from Judea.
- James the Less: Son of Alphaeus and one of the Apostles who preached in Egypt and Persia.
- Jude Thaddeus: Also known as Lebbeus or Judas, son of James, he is often depicted with an axe because he was martyred by being beaten with one.
- Simeon the Zealot: A revolutionary patriot who joined forces with Simon bar Giora during the Jewish revolt against Rome.
- Judas Iscariot: The disciple who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
While the twelve disciples were all men, there were also women who followed Jesus and supported His ministry. Some of these women included:
- Mary Magdalene: A woman from whom Jesus cast out seven demons and who was present at His crucifixion and resurrection.
- Mary: The mother of Jesus.
- Martha: Sister of Mary and Lazarus, she was known for her hospitality towards Jesus.
- Mary, wife of Clopas: A woman present at the crucifixion and one of the three women who discovered the empty tomb on Easter morning.
- Susanna: A woman mentioned in Luke’s Gospel who helped to support Jesus’ ministry financially.
In addition to the twelve disciples and women disciples, there were also other individuals who followed Jesus and supported His ministry. Some of these include:
- Lazarus: A man whom Jesus raised from the dead and who was a close friend of His.
- Nicodemus: A Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin who came to Jesus at night seeking guidance on spiritual matters.
- Joseph of Arimathea: A wealthy man and member of the Sanhedrin who provided a tomb for Jesus’ burial after His crucifixion.
In conclusion, Jesus invited a diverse group of people to follow Him and become His disciples. From fishermen to tax collectors, men and women, and even a revolutionary patriot, Jesus’ invitation was open to all who were willing to answer the call. And even today, we can still choose to follow Him and be a part of His mission to spread the love of God.