When Jesus began his earthly ministry, one of the first things he did was to choose a group of disciples to follow him. The choice of who would become his disciples was not arbitrary, but rather intentional. In this article, we will explore why Jesus chose the specific individuals he did to be his followers.
The Purpose of Discipleship
Before we delve into why Jesus chose his disciples, it’s important to understand the purpose of discipleship. A disciple is a student or follower of a particular teacher or leader. In the case of Jesus and his disciples, the purpose was to learn from him, follow him, and ultimately spread his teachings throughout the world.
The Criteria for Choosing Disciples
Jesus didn’t choose just anyone to be his disciples. He had specific criteria that he looked for in potential followers.
One of these criteria was faith. Jesus wanted people who believed in him and had faith in God’s plan for their lives.
Another criterion was obedience. Jesus wanted people who were willing to obey his commands and follow him wherever he went. He also looked for individuals who were humble and willing to serve others.
Who Were Jesus’ Disciples?
Now that we understand why Jesus chose his disciples based on certain criteria, let’s take a look at who they were:
- Peter: Peter was a fisherman by trade and became one of Jesus’ closest friends and confidants.
- James: James was the son of Zebedee and brother of John. He was known as James the Greater.
- John: John was another fisherman and brother of James.
He was known as John the Beloved.
- Andrew: Andrew was Peter’s brother and also a fisherman.
- Philip: Philip was from Bethsaida and was one of the first disciples Jesus called.
- Matthew: Matthew was a tax collector who left his job to follow Jesus.
- Thomas: Thomas was also known as “Doubting Thomas” because he initially didn’t believe Jesus had risen from the dead.
- James the Less: James the Less was also known as James the son of Alphaeus.
- Jude Thaddeus: Jude Thaddeus was also known as Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus. He is often confused with Judas Iscariot.
- Simon the Zealot: Simon was a member of a political group that opposed Roman rule in Israel.
The Significance of Jesus’ Choices
Each of Jesus’ disciples had unique talents and personalities that added to the diversity of his group. For example, Peter was a natural leader, while Matthew’s background as a tax collector gave him insight into how to interact with people from all walks of life.
Jesus’ choice to include Simon the Zealot, who opposed Roman rule, and Matthew, who worked for the Romans as a tax collector, shows that Jesus did not discriminate based on political beliefs or occupation. Instead, he looked at people’s hearts and their potential for growth.
In conclusion, Jesus chose his disciples based on their faith, obedience, humility, and willingness to serve others. Each disciple had unique talents and personalities that contributed to the diversity of Jesus’ group. Through this diverse group of disciples, Jesus was able to spread his message throughout the world and change countless lives.