John 3:16

12 Disciples – How Did Jesus Choose His Twelve Disciples?

Follow me.” This is the simple statement made by Christ which changed the world forever. This study includes how Jesus chose the 12 disciples.

How Jesus Chose The 12 Disciples

Today’s Bible study lesson comes from Mark 3:13-19.

The book tells the story of Jesus choosing a few fishermen and a tax collector, as well as others – and turning them into his twelve disciples who became the heroes of the Bible through His teachings. Through their unwavering loyalty and dedication, these twelve men became the foundation for the Christian faith, inspiring generations to come.

What are the names of the twelve disciples? I Had to Look Them Up – How about You?

This is common question which is answered here along with the simple way Jesus chose His 12 followers.

These were simple men who would accomplish great things in history; as we will learn in this Bible study lesson from Mark.

Jesus Chooses His 12 Disciples

And He went up on the mountain and summoned those whom He Himself wanted, and they came to Him.

And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, and to have authority to cast out the demons.

And He appointed the twelve:

Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter), and James, the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, which means, “Sons of Thunder”); and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot; and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him. – Mark 3:13-19 NASB

So, What are the 12 Disciples’ Names?

No, I couldn’t name them all either. But, to refresh your memory – here are the 12 disciples names (not in any certain order)…

  • Simon – Now known as Peter
  • James son of Zebedee
  • John (James’ brother)
  • Andrew
  • Phillip
  • Bartholomew
  • Matthew
  • Thomas
  • James son of Alphaeus
  • Thaddaeus
  • Simon the Zealot
  • Judas Iscarlot

Why Did Jesus Choose Twelve Disciples? Why Not Eight – Or More?

Just a little background on the disciples. Why would Jesus pick 12 disciples – and not 5, 20, or even 1,000 disciples?

A footnote to this passage about the disciples is that Jesus had many disciples who followed Him. These followers went out and spread the word about His ministry. And yes, they played an important role in helping to spread Jesus’ message of love and redemption.

But, the twelve disciples were the “inner circle“, so to speak. Ultimately, the twelve disciples were Jesus’ closest companions and His most devoted followers.

Here is a Possible Answer for Why There Were 12 Disciples

According to Matthew 19:28, the number 12 is very significant as it relates to the twelve tribes of Israel.

And, it shows the relationship between the newness of Jesus’ message and the old religious system under Jewish law. Jesus’ message was a new, more compassionate way for people to relate to each other. He brought a new hope, and He invited all twelve tribes of Israel to be part of His kingdom.

And, Jesus’ message was meant for the gentiles as well — Us!

The twelve tribes of Israel were seen as a symbol of the old religious system, and Jesus’ invitation was to start a new era of hope and understanding.

“And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” – Matthew 19:28 NASB

Jesus had crowds following him. But, He focused more on training the 12 chosen to be Apostles.

What is an Apostle?

An Apostle is someone who represents or is a messenger. Jesus needed people with the willingness to obey him. In modern times, an apostle of the Bible is someone who actually saw Christ in person. Ultimately, an apostle is a person who was chosen and authorized by Jesus to spread the gospel.

How do We Compare to the Twelve Disciples?

12 disciples
12 disciples

The disciples were simple people. They ranged from fishermen to tax collectors. Most were not well educated. But Jesus chose them according to God’s plan.

We may be more talented, more educated, know more people, or show more leadership ability than many of the disciples. But, the key word in the scripture is Obey.

These twelve men will go on to catapult the beginning of Christianity – risking their own lives in the process.

We most likely won’t have to risk bodily harm to tell others about Jesus.

But, are we as willing as these 12 disciples when it comes to obeying Christ when He calls us to do a task?

Love in Christ

– Bob

If you are curious about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to look at John 3:16 to discover more.