Who Were the 12 Called Out to Be Disciples of Jesus?

The twelve disciples of Jesus Christ are some of the most well-known figures in Christian history. These twelve men were specifically called by Jesus to be his closest followers during his ministry on earth. But who were they, and what made them stand out among all the other people that Jesus could have chosen?

The 12 Disciples

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

Peter – The Rock on Which the Church Was Built

Peter was one of the first disciples that Jesus called. He was a fisherman by trade and was originally named Simon, but Jesus gave him the name Peter, which means “rock.” Peter became one of Jesus’ closest friends and was with him during many important moments in his life, including his transfiguration and his trial before Pilate.

James and John – The Sons of Thunder

James and John were brothers who were also fishermen. They were known for their fiery temperaments and were given the nickname “sons of thunder” by Jesus. James was the first disciple to be martyred for his faith, while John went on to become an important leader in the early church and wrote several books of the New Testament.

Matthew – The Tax Collector

Matthew was a tax collector before he became a disciple of Jesus. Tax collectors were often despised by the Jewish people because they worked for the Roman government and were seen as traitors. However, Jesus saw something in Matthew that others did not and called him to be one of his followers.

Judas Iscariot – The Betrayer

Judas Iscariot is perhaps the most well-known of all the disciples, but not for good reasons. He was the one who betrayed Jesus to the authorities for thirty pieces of silver. Judas’ actions led to Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion.


In conclusion, the twelve disciples were a diverse group of men who came from different backgrounds and had different personalities. They were not perfect, but they were chosen by Jesus to be his closest companions during his time on earth. Despite their flaws, they went on to become some of the most important figures in Christian history and paved the way for millions of believers who came after them.