Jesus called the disciples to follow him and become his closest companions. But why did he choose these specific individuals and what was the purpose behind it? Let’s explore the reasons behind this significant decision.
The Calling of the Disciples
One day, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when he saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, casting their nets into the sea. He approached them and said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
(Matthew 4:19). They immediately left their nets and followed him.
Jesus continued along the shore and saw two more brothers, James and John, who were in a boat with their father mending their nets. He called out to them as well, and they left everything to follow him (Matthew 4:21-22).
These four men became Jesus’ first disciples. Over time, he would call twelve in total, including Matthew (a tax collector), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus (also known as Judas son of James), Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot.
The Purpose Behind Calling the Disciples
So why did Jesus call these specific men to be his closest followers? There were several reasons:
1. To Spread His Message: Jesus chose his disciples so that they could continue his work after he was gone. They would be witnesses to his teachings and share them with others.
2. To Train Them: The disciples were not only witnesses but also students of Jesus’ teachings. He spent much time teaching them about God’s kingdom and how to live according to God’s will.
3. To Build a Community: The disciples formed a close-knit community with each other and with Jesus. They supported each other and learned from each other.
The Qualities of the Disciples
Jesus did not choose his disciples based on their social status, education, or wealth. Instead, he looked for specific qualities:
1. Willingness to Follow: Jesus called those who were willing to leave everything behind and follow him. Humility: Jesus desired disciples who were humble and willing to learn from him. Faithfulness: Jesus wanted disciples who would remain faithful to him despite challenges and hardships.
The Lessons We Can Learn
The calling of the disciples teaches us several lessons:
- No One is Excluded: Jesus did not discriminate when choosing his disciples. He called people from all walks of life.
- We are All Called: Just as the disciples were called, we too are called to follow Jesus and share his message with others.
- The Importance of Community: The disciples formed a close-knit community that supported each other. We too need a community to support us in our faith journey.
Jesus’ calling of the disciples was not a random decision. He chose these specific individuals for a purpose – to spread his message, train them, and build a community.
The qualities he looked for in his disciples – willingness to follow, humility, and faithfulness – are still important today. Let us answer the call to follow Jesus and share his message with others.