When Jesus began his ministry, he knew he needed a team of disciples to help him spread his message and carry out his mission. But why did he choose the disciples that he did? Let’s take a closer look at the selection process and the qualities that Jesus was looking for in his followers.
The Selection Process
Jesus didn’t choose his disciples randomly or haphazardly. In fact, he spent an entire night in prayer before selecting the twelve men who would become his closest companions.
According to Luke 6:12-13, “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.”
This deliberate selection process shows that Jesus was intentional about who he chose to be on his team. He wasn’t looking for just anyone – he had specific qualities in mind that he wanted in his followers.
Qualities of the Disciples
So what were these qualities that Jesus was looking for? Here are just a few:
1. Willingness to Follow
Perhaps the most important quality that Jesus was looking for in his disciples was a willingness to follow him. When Jesus called Peter and Andrew, they immediately left their fishing nets and followed him (Matthew 4:18-20).
When he called Matthew, a tax collector, Matthew got up from his tax booth and followed him (Matthew 9:9). These men were willing to leave behind their old lives and follow Jesus wherever he led them.
Jesus also wanted disciples who were teachable – men who were open to learning from him and growing in their faith. When James and John asked if they could sit at Jesus’ right and left hand in heaven, indicating a desire for power and prestige, Jesus gently corrected them and reminded them of the true nature of his kingdom (Mark 10:35-45).
Following Jesus wasn’t always easy, and Jesus knew that his disciples would face opposition and persecution. That’s why he wanted men who were courageous – who wouldn’t back down in the face of adversity. Peter, who had a tendency to speak before he thought, showed incredible courage when he boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah (Matthew 16:16).
The Legacy of the Disciples
The disciples that Jesus chose went on to become some of the most influential figures in Christian history. They preached the gospel to people all over the world, performed miracles in Jesus’ name, and even wrote books of the Bible.
But perhaps more importantly, they modeled what it means to follow Jesus. They showed us what it looks like to be willing to leave everything behind for the sake of Christ, to be teachable and humble, and to have courage in the face of opposition.
As we read about these men in the pages of Scripture, we are reminded that God can use anyone who is willing to follow him with a humble heart. We don’t have to be perfect or have it all together – we just have to be willing.
In choosing his disciples, Jesus was looking for specific qualities – a willingness to follow him, teachability, and courage. These men went on to become powerful witnesses for Christ and left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire us today. As we seek to follow Jesus ourselves, may we strive to embody these same qualities in our own lives.