How Old Were The Disciples When Jesus Chose Them

How old were Jesus’ disciples?

Answer Neither the Bible nor any other source specifies the ages of any of Jesus’ initial twelve apostles. However, there are a few observations that may be made about their ages. First and foremost, according to Scripture, Jesus was around 30 years old when He began His public ministry (Luke 3:23). Students (or disciples) were often younger than their teachers in Jewish culture. As a result, it is likely that the disciples were between the ages of 20 and 30. Jesus also referred to them as “small children,” which might have been a reference to the fact that they were several years younger than He.

According to Matthew 4:21–22, James and John intentionally abandoned their father in the boat in order to follow Jesus.

They were most certainly teens by this point, as they were able to leave home to follow a rabbi.

Matthew 8:14 mentions his infirm mother-in-law, who was a sick woman.

  1. A fourth point to consider is that the subsequent lives of several of the disciples provide information about their likely ages.
  2. It had been 60 years since Jesus had walked with them.
  3. It is reasonable to assume that John was at least 20 years old at the time of the crucifixion, given his ability to care for Jesus’ mother (John 19:26–27).
  4. According to Matthew’s Gospel, which was written 30–40 years after Jesus’ resurrection, he was in his 20s when he followed Jesus on earth, implying that Matthew was in his 20s when following Jesus on earth.
  5. After that, if the youngster was clever and motivated in continuing his religious studies, he would seek out and follow a rabbi who would mentor him, and he would model his life after the rabbi until he was 30 years old.
  6. In most cases, a young man’s discipleship instruction under the supervision of a rabbi begins between the ages of 13 and 15.
  7. The precise ages of Jesus’ followers are not specified in the Bible; nonetheless, it is probable that they were all between the ages of 13 and 30 at the time they followed Jesus.

Due to this viewpoint, there is some variation in their ages, with John presumably being the youngest and Peter maybe being the oldest due to the fact that he had previously been married.

How Old Were The Disciples?

Topic:When it comes to the disciples, the question of how they could have written their letters 30 or more years after the crucifixion of the Christ tends to come up frequently. However, because males began working at a young age – maybe as early as 12 – that would be regarded unacceptable today, it is possible that estimating their ages would be a suitable solution. So, how old were they when they died? (Of course, the ages are approximate.) RESPONSE:As you correctly surmise, the solution to this question is somewhat shocking.

  • How the disciples could be living and writing about the events of Jesus’ life as late as 95-100 A.D.
  • According to prevailing expectations, even the other writers of the New Testament, like Matthew, Peter, and Paul, appear to be too old to be writing when they do, in their mid-60s and beyond – especially considering the life expectancies at the period.
  • Because we’ve been shaped far more by Bible movies than we have been by the biblical evidence that has been made available.
  • On the basis of Luke’s specific aging in 3:23, everyone accepts that Jesus was around 30 years old throughout his ministry.

Despite the fact that there is no indication in Scripture of a specific age for any disciple, we can conclude from the evidence in the Gospels and from a little research into 1st century Jewish culture that this idea, which has been depicted repeatedly in movies and pictures, is almost certainly incorrect.

Young boys in Judaism follow a fairly structured scholastic and life route, as seen in this illustration: “At five years old, for the Scripture, at ten years old, for the Mishnah (oral Torah, interpretations), at thirteen, for the fulfillment of the commandments, at fifteen, for the Talmud (making Rabbinic interpretations), at eighteen, for the bride-chamber, at twenty, for authority (able to teach others).” “At five years old, for the Scripture, at ten years, for the Mishnah,” As a result, during the time of Jesus, nearly all Jewish young men were married, and most were married by the age of 18.

  1. However, Peter is the only disciple who is documented to have been married in the Gospels (Matthew 8:14-15).
  2. As a result, we may infer that the disciples were all under the age of twenty, with some as young as fifteen.
  3. The education of a Jewish youngster came to an end at the age of fifteen.
  4. If you were 15 years old and finished with your basic study in Torah, a kid who was brilliant enough (or whose parents were wealthy enough) would locate a rabbi who would accept them as a pupil and mentor them.
  5. In this scenario, a brilliant Jewish boy from Tarsus is sent by his wealthy parents to Jerusalem to study under a renowned Rabbi.
  6. It is likely that if your kid did not receive this distinction, he would begin working by his mid-teens, and in virtually every instance, he would apprentice under his father in the family trade.
  7. The first is that most of the disciples were older than 15 when called, as in the example of James and John working in the family fishing company, indicating that they were apprenticing at their skills when called.

Peter is the exception to this rule, but because his brother Andrew is not married and because they’re working with James and John (Luke 5:10 – presumably their two families are involved in a joint business endeavor), it’s reasonable to assume they’re about the same age as each other.

Two, because we find them working in trades at the time Jesus summons them, it is unlikely that any of the disciples were “star pupils,” as the phrase goes.

Following their rejection as youths, they are probably surprised to be considered worthy of apprenticeship with a wandering Rabbi who was beginning to establish a name at the time.

The fact that they were passed over for traditional schooling explains why, after the resurrection, the Chief priests express concern about their educational background.

HBActs 4:13 (Hebrew) This explains why Peter is shown as the spokesman for the disciples — being the only one who has married, he is also the eldest of the group.

The idea that Peter is no older than 25 years old is highly believable, especially in comparison to the 45 – 55 year old Peter shown in most plays, movies, and other media representations.

Why not go ahead and do it sooner rather than later?

Furthermore, Jesus had to leave students in charge of stewarding the Church while he was away.

For the time being, the only other disciple outside Peter who may have been older than his adolescence was Matthew, who would have required to be an established adult in order to work as a tax collector for the Roman government as an independent contractor.

We believe that Jesus, as the Incarnate Word/Son of God, may make a paternal reference to any human being and that it would be appropriate.

However, we must not ignore Jesus’ human character as well as the nature of his patriarchal cultural background.

The fact that Jesus addressed his disciples as “children” may imply that they were predominantly – gasp!

Or at the very least, they are significantly younger than their Master.

Consider what might happen if the brothers were grown men (Matthew 20:20-24) in this incident!

Also keep in mind that Jesus dubbed them “Sons of Thunder” because they were presumably either loud or brave, which are typical qualities of adolescents.

Exodus 30:14-15 states that every male above the age of 20 was required to pay a fee to help keep the “Sanctuary” or Temple in good condition.

We may properly infer that the others were under the age of 20 and hence did not have to pay.

They’re young men!

The fact that a Rabbi more than ten years their senior has accepted their application for apprenticeship is considered an honor by the young men.

Don’t we root for them even more when these young 20-year-olds defy a corrupt priesthood system and openly proclaim the establishment of a New Kingdom on the planet?

Given that I am the father of two young men in this age range, I am filled with pride when I think about the commitments they have made to this same Kingdom, and how Jesus is pleased to choose and use individuals of their caliber and character (Matt 11:25).

Even if he wrote his gospel, letters, and book of Revelation in the year 100, young John, who was possibly 15 during Jesus’ lifetime, would be just 85.

Jesus’ Bachelors: The Disciples Were Most Likely Under The Age Of 18

In 2013, a group portrait of American male teenagers was taken. Jesus’ twelve disciples were virtually all under the age of eighteen, with some as young as fifteen, which suggests that they were in their early teens. Except for one, all of them were most likely bachelors. In the Bible, there is no indication of a definite age for any of the disciples. Therefore, we examine the evidence through the lens of historical context as well as insights drawn from Scripture. In the time of Jesus, a Jewish male could only marry after reaching the age of eighteen.

The Bible tells us that Peter had a wife when Jesus cured his mother-in-law, according to Matthew 8:14-15.

Education Of That Time

Portrait of a group of male teenagers from the United States, taken in 2013. Almost all were under the age of eighteen, with some as young as fifteen, and Jesus’ twelve followers were most likely all children. One exception stood out: all of them were almost certainly bachelors. In the Bible, there is no indication of a particular age for any disciple to follow. For this reason, we examine the evidence through the prism of historical context, in addition to Scriptural hints. A Jewish man may only marry after reaching the age of 18 during the time of Jesus.

When Jesus cured his mother-in-law, we discover that Peter had a wife, according to Matthew 8:14-15.

A Rabbi At The Age of 30

Historically, a rabbi of that era would begin accepting students when he reached the age of thirty. We think that Jesus began his public ministry at the age of thirty, when he was thirty years old. This is also consistent with the rabbinical traditions of the historical period as well. What was it about Jesus that made the establishment think he was crazy? He was not a rabbi who was responsible for teaching in the synagogue. He gave lectures near the seaside and from the top of a mountain. He was anti-religious in his views.

No one had ever thought about Jesus’ notion of loving everyone like he did.

Furthermore, Jesus declared that He was the Son of God.

(See also John 14:6)

The Way

Of fact, this group of young Jewish men were not recognized as “Christians” when they arrived. Almost certainly, they were only students of the Rabbi, Jesus of Nazareth, who taught them. According to what we can gather from the book of Acts, the early Jesus movement was referred to as “The Way” (Acts 9:2; Acts 24:14). It was not until Antioch, some years after Jesus’ resurrection, that the term “Christianity” was coined. (See Acts 11:27 for further information.) The disciples were most likely not middle-aged men, as shown in historical films and even in the most recent television miniseries, The Bible, which is currently showing.

Not only does it go against to historical precedent, but it also runs counter to Scripture. Matthew was the only one who may have been older than the others, except from Peter. He worked as a tax collector for the most of his life. “Here are a few biblical indices of youth development”:

The use of the term “little ones”

In Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21, and John 13:33, Jesus refers to his followers as “little ones,” referring to them as children. If they were males, this would be considered a bit disrespectful, regardless of how radical or mild the rabbi is!

James and John

These two gentlemen were brothers. The children had a forceful mother called Salome, who insisted on arranging where they would sit at the dinner table with Jesus. If the brothers were grown men, Salome’s obstinacy would be quite incomprehensible. (Matthew 20:20-24; Mark 10:20-24). They were dubbed “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus because they were presumably either loud or courageous when they were young, attributes that Jesus admired in them.

Only Peter Is Known to Have been Paid the Temple Tax

Every male above the age of 20 who visits the temple of God is required to give a half-shekel as a census offering, according to Jewish law, which is found in Exodus 30:14-15. In Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus asks Peter to “fish up” the tax he has been instructed to collect. And to discover a four-drachma coin in the mouth of the fish he has caught; enough to pay the tax for two men, himself and Jesus, when he opens the fish’s mouth. This is solely for Peter and Jesus, according to Jesus’ request. You may come to the conclusion that the others were minors and hence did not have to pay.

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“Young Guns”

Teenagers have always played an important role in the moviegoing experience. Today, the physical movie theater remains a popular destination for teens, mostly because it provides them with opportunities to meet up with friends, go on dates, hang out, and so on. For many years in the 1980s and 1990s, I worked as a movie executive, always seeking for methods to make tales “younger.” Young Guns was an ensemble picture that included a retelling of “Billy the Kid” with a cast that was predominantly under the age of thirty.

With the disciples, it’s possible that we had a “Young Guns”-style cast.

The fact that you are a young disciple does not affect the truth of the Gospel.

How old were the disciples of Jesus when they joined him?

Although it is not stated clearly in the Bible, there are a few indicators that at least some of them were young — possibly adolescents or in their early twenties — when they died. Young men began their studies with a Rabbi when they were 12 to 30 years old, although they normally started when they were fewer than 20 years old, according to Jewish tradition. As a result, the majority of the apostles would have been teens when Jesus asked them to join him. Another important thing to remember is that John lived until at least AD96, when the book of Revelation was published, which is 66 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Additional evidence may be found in Matthew 17:24-27.

The other disciples were present (as evidenced by the preceding passages), but it does not appear that they paid the tax.

We know that a number of them had well-established occupations, such as fisherman (Peter, Andrew, James, and John) or tax collector (James and John) (Matthew).

However, because Jewish schooling often ended at the age of 12, they would have had plenty of time to acquire these crafts and still be able to join Jesus at an early age.

How Old Were the Disciples?

We have all seen photographs of Jesus instructing his followers, who appear to be adult males of around the same age as Jesus himself. But, is this depiction of the disciples correct, or may the disciples have been substantially younger than the depiction suggests? Keep in mind that just one aspect of Jesus’ calling and teaching of disciples was unique — the calling. We should never forget that. In first-century Judaism, numerous rabbis or professors taught pupils and trained them to become rabbis in the same way that they were trained.

Jesus, on the other hand, addressed his disciples by their first names – something he emphasized throughout his teaching (John 15:16).

So it’s very plausible that Jesus’ disciples were younger than we normally assume, and there’s even some scriptural evidence to suggest that this could have been the case in certain cases.

Consider the fascinating tale of the time when Jesus and his followers traveled to Capernaum, when the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax approached Peter and inquired, “Doesn’t your master pay the temple tax?” When Peter caught a fish, Jesus urged him to pay the tax for both Jesus and himself.

  1. The fact that Jesus only gave tax money for Peter and himself, and not for the other disciples, may appear strange at first – until we remember that the tax was only had to be paid by individuals above the age of twenty.
  2. While it’s possible that many of the disciples were in fact younger than we often believe, this would have had no impact on their capacity to serve as witnesses to the resurrection.
  3. At the end of the day, the age of the disciples doesn’t matter because we would have known what age they were if we had been told.
  4. But, returning to the question of how young Jews came to be students of a rabbi, it is important to remember that young men did not simply show up at a rabbi’s door and expect to be instructed.
  5. People who wanted to become rabbis were examined and tested by the older teacher, and only a select few were chosen to be their disciples.
  6. Maybe there is a lesson in this for us today.

Whatever the age of Jesus’ disciples at their calling, it is certain that the opportunity would have been regarded as a great honor and privilege – to be one of so few selected from so many. Perhaps, in terms of our own lives and calling, that is something we need to remind ourselves of more often.


This is a fascinating issue to investigate. There are, without a doubt, people who support both sides of this issue. However, we are in the midst of The Teen Decade, a span of time that occurs just once per century. The seven years from 2013 to 2019. So why not travel to that location? Throughout this decade, I have urged this generation to pursue the greatest spiritual Awakening that America has ever witnessed, particularly because they are the only living generation who has not witnessed a spiritual Awakening during their lifetime.

If you do a search on this blog, you will discover a plethora of posts on this subject dating back to 2012.

The Disciples were of a certain age.

Is there anything in theology that gives us a clue as to how old the followers of Jesus were?

Youth Disciples Have Evidence to Support Their Claims My research and opinions have been influenced by a variety of sources, including Bible historian Ray Vanderlaan, the text Manners and Customs of the Bible, and the historical background known in the first century from reading many commentaries.

First and foremost, the manner in which Jesus engaged with the Disciples A number of passages (Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21, John 13:33, and John 21) in the Bible include Jesus referring to his Disciples as “little children” or using terms that are comparable, such as “little ones,” “children,” and “ewe’s.” When Jesus was alone with the Disciples, He would frequently give us the impression that they were novice fishermen and social misfits, and He would even employ parabolic language with them when He was alone with them.

  1. “Do you not understand?” Jesus had to question them several times.
  2. Second, the majority of the Disciples were single and unmarried.
  3. Because Jesus restored the health of his mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15).
  4. The spouses of the other disciples were not mentioned at all.
  5. The next point to mention is the educational process in Israel.
  6. If the Disciples were unable to locate a rabbi who would accept them as students, they would most likely enter the workforce by the time they were in their mid-teens.
  7. Without a question, the life of Christ had drawn them in, but they were all eager to begin a life of learning under the guidance of the Rabbi par excellence.

Look at the Temple Tax, for example, as a fourth example.

When they were discussing government and civil obligations, they were joking around.

Peter discovers a shekel in the mouth of the fish he has caught and uses it to pay the tax.

We read in Exodus 30:14-15 that Jewish law specifies that any male above the age of 20 who visits the temple of God is required to give a half-shekel as a census offering.

Fifth, consider the fervor and childlikeness with which the Disciples approach their work.

), how they were disturbed by the children around them (would anyone want their little brother or sister playing around them?

Another positive aspect was that they were quick to acknowledge their mistakes while also being corrected at the same time.

Without even a thought to why!

Finally We don’t know how old the Disciples were, whether they were teenagers or young adults.

For the last 30 years, I’ve been working with young people and have observed several promising signals that are relevant to the next Teen Decade and teens in general.

There’s also the potential.

And I have faith that they will play a role in the next big awakening in the United States of America.

Perhaps this group of teenagers in America today will be moved by the contemporary message of Christ and go on to do something as meaningful and long-lasting as the first Disciples of Jesus did in the first century.

How old were the Apostles when Jesus chose them?

ClarifyShareReportAsked Anonymous on June 03, 2017 The responses from the community are arranged according to how many people voted for them. The greater the number of votes, the higher the position of an answer on the list. To the best of my knowledge, the Bible does not provide any indication of their ages. However, I believe it would be acceptable to presume that they were roughly the same age as Jesus (who, according to Luke, was “about thirty years of age” (Luke 3:23) when He began His ministry) based on their appearance.

  1. It also seemed to me that if they were significantly younger than Jesus, older people could have been predisposed to look down on or disregard them.
  2. For example, if the apostles had been considerably older than Jesus, they would not have been physically prepared for the hardships of long-distance travel, let alone for the long evangelistic career that Jesus seems to expect of them.
  3. This seems to me that Peter (and, by extension, the rest of the apostles) did not appear to be particularly youthful or elderly.
  4. 0 replies on June 8, 2017 Vote for it, share it, and report it.

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How old were the apostles when they began to follow Jesus? – Evidence for Christianity

Question:Do you have any suggestions for where I may go for information on how old the apostles were when they first came to faith in Jesus? Answer;I am by no means an expert on this subject, but I have read a lot of hypotheses put up by various authors on the subject. Overall, the Bible does not give any concrete proof regarding the age of the apostles. Conclusion: Historically, scholars have argued that the disciples were all under the age of thirty since they assumed the position of student to the “Rabbi” Jesus, which was customary at the time.

Consequently, it has been widely assumed that many, if not all, of the apostles were in their early twenties or even younger, according to popular belief.

In the end, this is all conjecture, and we will never know how old the apostles were because they were never born.

John was nearly definitely less than thirty years old when he began to follow Jesus, according to this interpretation.

If I had to estimate, I would say that the most, if not all, of the apostles were under the age of 25 when they first began to follow Jesus, but I have no way of proving this, and neither does anybody else that I am aware of. John Oakes is a writer and poet.

What were the ages of Jesus’ disciples when they were chosen? Why didn’t Jesus choose any woman disciples?

It is unknown how old each of Jesus’ twelve Apostles was at the time of their selection, and we have no way of knowing their exact ages. We may deduce from some of the dates and times of their deaths that none of them could have been more than middle-aged at the time of their deaths. Prior to meeting Jesus, the majority of the disciples were employed in a trade (fishing, tax collection, etc.). It’s also worth noting that following Jesus during his earthly career was a physically demanding lifestyle, with plenty of walking, long days of preaching and ministering, and other such activities.

  • Peter).
  • As a youth, arguably the youngest of the apostles, St.
  • The majority of them, on the other hand, were most likely young to middle-aged guys.
  • Some people may view Jesus’ choice not to pick any women among the twelve Apostles as a sexist remark, however this is not the case.
  • Despite the fact that Jesus did not select any women to be among the twelve Apostles, he did invite both men and women to follow him.

He was accompanied by the Twelve and several women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, including Mary, known as Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been cast out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and a large number of others who provided for them out of their own resources” (Luke 8:1-3).

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His Gospel contains the accounts of Mary (the Mother of God), Elizabeth, and his visit to Martha and Mary, all of which are based on his own words.

Based on this example, we can see that early Christianity was at a crossroads, caught between the ways of the world and the ways of the Lord.

While Jesus could have chosen any method of birth, he chose to be born of a woman–specifically, a virgin–in order to be closer to God.

Mary Magdalene was the disciple who witnessed the Resurrection and reported it to the Apostles; as a result, she is given the particular distinction of being known as theApostola Apostolorum, or the “Apostle to the Apostles,” and her feast day is today recognized as a feast of an apostle (a rare honor only shared by a few others outside of the twelve Apostles, like Paul and Barnabas).

  • Throughout history, Jesus has demonstrated a specific spiritual closeness with virgins and dedicated women, whom he loves tenderly and has displayed a special spiritual intimacy with.
  • These approaches were not always understood or accepted by the people of Jesus’ day, but through the years, society has gradually come to recognize and accept what Jesus always knew and intended: the co-equal and unique dignity of man and woman on the same level as the rest of creation.
  • One of these methods was through the institution of the priesthood.
  • The Church is referred to as theBrideof Christ, and Jesus is referred to as theBridegroom; individuals who are ordained via Holy Orders are entering into Christ’s identity as the Bridegroom of the Church.
  • This is not because women have any less dignity or worth than males, nor is it because women are incompetent (if anybody was deserving of such an honor, it was unquestionably the Virgin Mary!).
  • Yes, the priesthood is a position of authority, but that authority is to be offered in service to the Bride, not used as a weapon or exploited for the sake of gaining control over others.
  • Men have traditionally held positions of authority, and that authority has been misused several times in the context of women.
  • Jesus’ example, on the other hand, provides me with hope.
  • Through the priesthood, Jesus elevated the position of spiritual fatherhood; maybe we might think more about the various ways in which he has glorified the role of spiritual motherhood.

Jesus intends for us to learn from one another and to assist one another, rather than to lord it over others or to tear them down.

Chris Cammarata

Disclaimer: The views, ideas, and opinions expressed in this article are exclusively those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Jesus youth movement or its affiliates.

Jesus’ Disciples: A teenage posse?

What was the age of the disciples? Are they in their twenties? Men in their eighties and nineties with grey beards and walking sticks?

The theory of a young age of the disciples

Ray Vander Laan, one of my favorite Bible History lecturers, introduced me to the hypothesis that, with the exception of Peter, the twelve disciples were all under the age of twenty when they met Jesus for the first time. To be really honest, I felt a great weight being lifted off my shoulders. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to wrestle with the notion that those twelve incorrigibles were dumb and immature in my opinion! To age them while they are still in adolescent, at least in my opinion, really enhances their public profile.

Is it, however, biblical?

The pros for a young age

Following are some of the reasons Ray Vander Laan uses to support his theories, as documented on the discussion board (most recently updated in 2018.) He has added a new page on his website dedicated to the rabbi and talmid.) Follow the Rabbi is the name of his website.

The temple tax

According to Exodus 30:14-15, every male over the age of 20 who enters the sanctuary of God is required to pay a half-shekel as a census offering when he does so. In Matthew 17:24-27, Jesus asks Peter to “fish up” the tax he has been instructed to collect. Peter discovers a shekel in the mouth of a fish he has caught, which is enough to pay the tax for two men, himself and Jesus, as well as the fish. You may come to the conclusion that the others were minors and hence did not have to pay.

The use of the term “little ones”

Several times in the Bible, Jesus refers to his followers as “little children,” which would be a bit demeaning if they were adults. Matthew 11:25, Luke 10:21, and John 13:33 are examples of such references.

They were unmarried

When Jesus cured Peter’s mother-in-law, we learn that he had a wife as well (Matthew 8:14-15). In those ancient times, a Jewish man does not marry until he reaches the age of eighteen. There are no additional disciples’ wives mentioned in this passage. You may infer from this that they were unmarried and so under the age of majority.

The education system of Israel at the time of Jesus

We learn about ancient Jewish education traditions in Avot 5 (from the Mishnah:rabbinical commentary that was added to the Old Testament): scripture study begins at age 5; Mishnah study at age 10; Torah obligations at age 13; continued rabbinical study at 15 if chosen to be tutored by a formal teacher or apprenticed to a trade; marriage at age 18; formal teaching at age 30. Jewish children began serious study at an early age, although the majority of them completed their education by the age of fifteen.

Unless they were able to locate a rabbi who would accept them as a pupil (much like a college admissions application), they were forced into the workforce by their mid-teen years.

A younger age is therefore more likely than an older age in this situation.

A man over the age of 30 abandoning his trade to follow a rabbi would be considered counter-cultural; this is not to say that it was impossible (Jesus was unquestionably counter-cultural), but it was more likely that they were younger than older.

The zeal and folly of youth

Adolescence is characterized by zealousness and folly, and the behavior of the disciples described in the gospels is consistent with this characteristic. If older men were disputing about who would be the greatest during Jesus’ reign, wouldn’t it make more logical that teens were doing the same? Imagine a band of teenagers instead of a group of veteran sailors onboard the boat when the storm came, terrified and frantically calling out to Jesus for assistance. When I consider the forgetful and distracted nature of youth, it becomes easier to see how they could hear Jesus declare he would die and come back to life, then act in the manner in which they did when these events occurred.

They hadn’t been paying attention in class, and this was the result.

It is easier for me to grasp Jesus’ compassion with them, his modest expectations of their behavior and the manner in which he teaches them when I age them under twenty.

The cons for a young age

There are many who are critical of any instructor or author who chooses to go on the record. Chuck May’s article, How Jewish do you have to be to comprehend the Bible?, in which he discusses his concerns to Vander Laan’s Jewish premises, is available online. Despite the fact that I do not agree with his points of view, I felt his arguments against the disciples’ young age were worth considering.

Matthew was a tax collector.

However, the Bible does not state that Matthew was apprenticed to be a tax collector, nor does it state that his father was a tax collector; rather, the Bible states that Matthew himself was a Roman assigned tax agent. Would the Romans have put their faith in a youngster to do this kind of work? I honestly don’t know, therefore I can’t comment one way or the other. However, it is possible that this is a reasonable point.

Jesus gave his mother to John.

At the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusts John with the care of his mother. If you adopt the young age viewpoint at this moment, John might have been as young as 13 at this point. Would Jesus have put his faith in a tiny kid to carry out this mission? Alternatively, you might claim that because Jesus knew John would outlast everyone else, he was the most trustworthy! Jesus was very close to John, and it’s possible that Jesus sensed in him the ability to undertake this monumental task. I think of the young pioneers who were entrusted with the responsibility of caring for their families at very young ages during the early settlement of the western United States.

(Please keep in mind that this is supposing that the beloved disciple was John.) (For more information, see this post: Unsolved Mystery.)

Does it really matter?

Nah. As a result, it’s hard to make a definitive statement, and because the Bible doesn’t make a big issue about it, neither will I. I appreciate the notion of requiring followers to be younger in age since it is in line with my sense of fairness.

However, keeping them in their twenties and thirties, as is customary, does not detract from the gospel message. So make your choose! This issue will be covered in more detail in a subsequent post.

Why did Jesus Choose 12 Disciples

Jesus climbed up a mountainside and called out to those that he desired, and they came running to meet him. He chose twelve people to be with him and to be sent out to preach so that he might be more effective. Mark 3:13-14 (KJV) There were a variety of religious, intellectual, and political leaders in the first-century Roman civilization, each of whom had a dedicated group of followers. In Judaism, devoted apprentices were required to follow a rabbi. A special teacher-student connection was developed between Jesus of Nazareth and twelve specific persons from among the multitudes who followed Him.

  1. Instead of approaching a rabbi and asking to be instructed by him, Jesus chose the men He wanted and called them to follow Him.
  2. And the group He picked was a broad mix of individuals who were not affiliated with the Jewish religious establishment.
  3. Because they were fishermen, Jesus came across Peter and his brother Andrew, who were tossing nets into the water.
  4. In response to Jesus’ summons, the four fishermen immediately abandoned their nets and joined the ranks of the Hismathetai, the Histalmidim.

Rather, under the guidance of Jesus, they would develop into men who would “fish for people” (Matthew 4:18–22), a phrase that means “fish for people.” 1 One of the most astonishing things we learn from the Gospel stories is that when Jesus called these men, they immediately abandoned whatever they were doing and followed Him.

The 12 Disciples

The apostles were chosen by Jesus after a night of prayer on a mountaintop. He gathered His supporters together and publicly selected twelve of them to serve as apostles: After waking up in the morning, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them to be apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew (whom he named James), James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James (also known as Thaddaeus, the name that is used in Matthew and Mark), and Judas Iscariot, who later became a traitor.

  • (See Luke 6:13–16.) There are other stories of the disciples’ summoning in Mark 1:16–20, Luke 5:2–11, and John 1:40–42, as well as the Gospel of John.
  • The Israelites, God’s chosen people, were split into twelve tribes, each with its own language and culture.
  • Although it is apparent that the force of God was at work in calling these individuals, it is dubious that they realized the full depth of what they were getting themselves into when they first became followers of Jesus.
  • However, it wasn’t until Jesus was nearing the conclusion of His earthly life that He was able to reveal to them the true cost of discipleship.
  • It was He who stated it in such severe words when He declared that anybody who want to follow Him must deny himself and take up his cross (Luke 9:23) in order to do so.
  • As a result of their commitment to Christ, several people were murdered.
  • Before ascending into heaven, Jesus “graduated” His followers, as was the custom of the rabbi at the time of His death.

He also promised that they would be able to go and spread the good news of the kingdom.

They spoke courageously about Jesus’ death and resurrection, hailed the entrance of a new way of life, and performed amazing miracles to substantiate their claims.

They carried the message to the furthest reaches of the globe, as instructed.

Because, as Jesus made very plain throughout the Gospels and as His apostles made abundantly evident throughout their New Testament writings, not everyone who names Jesus “Savior” may be considered a disciple of Christ.

In order to be a disciple, one must dedicate one’s entire life to following the Lord, training as His student, and studying His Word.

Eventually, the student will be able to perform all of the tasks that his Master has assigned to him (Philippians 4:13). Also in Matthew 28:19–20, Jesus pledges to remain with His disciples “until the end of the age,” implying that He would be with them “until the end of the era.”

For Personal Reflection

What steps can you take to commit your entire life to serving the Lord more fully? The following article was adapted from study materials in the New International Version Storyline Bible. The New International Version (NIV) Storyline Bible From Genesis to Revelation, take a journey through the intricately intertwined tale of the gospel. The NIV Storyline Bible has over 200 articles that explain the linked nature of God’s Word as well as the whole story that spans both the Old and New Testaments.

See also:  How Did Jesus Die The Second Time

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Who Were the 12 Disciples and What Should We Know about Them?

It was at this point that He walked up to the mountain to pray, where he remained for the rest of the night, praising the Almighty. And when the day arrived, He gathered His disciples around Him and picked twelve of them to be apostles, which they received from Him. (See also Luke 6:12-13.) Twelve men answered Jesus’ call to follow him and became followers of his teachings. They were Jews, ignorant commoners, and simple men of faith who were willing to give up everything in order to become disciples of Jesus.

  1. Jesus’ intention was for the disciples to ultimately take over and complete the task that He had begun for them.
  2. They were the most widespread of the widespread.
  3. Rather of choosing guys from the upper classes, aristocratic families, and powerful men, Christ purposefully picked men from the lower classes and scum of society.
  4. He exalts the humble and brings those who are haughty to their knees.

The Names of the 12 Disciples

The names of the disciples may be found in the Gospel books of Matthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:14-19, and Luke 6:13-16, among other places. You didn’t pick me, did you? You were the one I selected. (See also John 14:16.) As of now, the twelve apostles are known by the following names: James the son of Zebedee and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew (Nathanael); Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus (James the Less), and Thaddaeus (Judas, son of James); Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him.

Despite the fact that the disciples were all unique individuals, when the Early Church was established, they were recognized for their steadfast faith.

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Get to Know Jesus’ 12 Apostles, Including Peter, John and More

The 12 apostles were chosen by Jesus Christ from among his early disciples to be his closest colleagues and confidants. When the apostles completed a rigorous discipleship training and the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, he gave them full authority to promote God’s kingdom and spread the gospel message across the globe (Matthew 28:16-2; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:45). The names of the 12 disciples may be found inMatthew 10:2-4, Mark 3:14-19, and Luke 6:13-16, among other places. These individuals would go on to become the founding fathers of the New Testament church, but they were not without their flaws and failings as well.

These folks have no exceptional abilities.

God, on the other hand, picked them for a specific purpose: to fan the fires of the gospel, which would spread across the face of the planet and continue to burn brightly for millennia to come. In order to carry out God’s extraordinary plan, he chose and employed each of these ordinary people.

Meet the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ

Take a few minutes to learn about the 12 apostles of Jesus and the traits that characterized each of them. Learn from the guys who contributed to the igniting of the flame of truth that still burns inside hearts today and urges others to come and follow Christ in their journey.


James Tissot’s “The Charge to Peter” is depicted in this detail. Images courtesy of SuperStock / Getty Images Peter was, without a doubt, a “duh”-principle that the majority of people can relate to. From one moment to the next, he was walking on water by faith, and then he was drowning in insecurity. Peter is well known for his impulsive and passionate behavior when the stakes were high and he denied Jesus. Still, as a follower, he was cherished by Christ, and he was given an honorable place among the twelve apostles.

When the names of the guys are read out loud, Peter’s name is always the first.

They were the only ones who had the opportunity of witnessing the Transfiguration, as well as a few other spectacular insights from Jesus during that time period.

History records that when Peter was sentenced to death by crucifixion, he requested that his head be bent toward the ground because he did not feel worthy to die in the same manner as his Savior.


James Tissot’s painting “The Charge to Peter” in detail. Getty Images and SuperStock Peter was, without a doubt, a “duh”-principle that the majority of people could relate to. He went from walking on water by faith to sinking in doubt in the blink of an eye, and back again. Peter is well known for his impulsive and passionate behavior when the stakes were high. As a disciple, Christ cherished him much and assigned him a particular place among the twelve apostles. In the Gospels, Peter stands out as a representative of the Twelve.

It was he, James, and John who constituted the core of Jesus’ inner group of closest friends and followers.

When Jesus rose from the dead, Peter went on to become a fearless preacher and missionary, as well as one of the most important figures in the early church.


Guido Reni’s “Saint James the Greater,” painted between 1636 and 1638, is seen in this detail. Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see. Each of the Synoptic Gospels mentions James as a disciple of Jesus who was there at the time of his death. When he was a child, his father Zebedee dubbed him “James the Greater,” to distinguish him from the other James who was also an apostle. James was a member of Christ’s inner circle, which also included his brother, the apostle John, and the apostle Peter.

In addition to these distinctions, James was the first of the 12 apostles to be murdered for his religion in A.D. 44, making him the first of the apostles to be crucified.


Domenichino’s “Saint John the Evangelist,” painted in the late 1620s, is seen in this detail. Photograph courtesy of the National Gallery in London The apostle John, brother of James, was referred to by Jesus as one of the “sons of thunder,” but he preferred to refer to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” which is what he called himself. Because he is frequently referenced after James, it seems likely that John was younger than James. When Jesus summoned the brothers, they were working as fishermen with their father Zebedee when he called them.

In addition to his huge influence on the early Christian church, he has a larger-than-life personality that makes him an intriguing character study.

For example, on the firstEastermorning, John raced Peter to the tomb when Mary Magdalenerreported that it was now empty, with his characteristic energy and passion.

According to legend, John outlived all of his followers, dying in his old age at Ephesus, where he proclaimed a gospel of love and lectured against heresy while preaching and teaching.


El Greco’s “Apostle St. Philip,” painted in 1612, is seen in this detail. The general public’s domain Philip was one of the earliest disciples of Jesus Christ, and he didn’t spare any time in encouraging others, such as Nathanael, to follow in his footsteps. Philip is given a more prominent part in the Gospel of John than he is in the other three Gospels put together. In John 14:8–9, Philip approaches Jesus and requests, “We would be happy if you show us the Father, Lord.” “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am?” Jesus responds.

One thing we can be confident of is that Philip’s pursuit for the truth brought him directly to the Messiah who had been promised.

Nathanael or Bartholomew

Giambattista Tiepolo’s “The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew,” painted between 1722 and 1723, is depicted in this detail. Sergio Anelli / Electa / Mondadori Portfolio images courtesy of Getty Images / Sergio Anelli Nathanael, who is thought to be Bartholomew’s disciple, had a startling first contact with Jesus, according to tradition. Nathanael was suspicious when the apostle Philip invited him to come and see the Messiah, but he went along with it nonetheless. In the presence of Jesus, the Lord remarked, “Here is a real Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.” Philip was the one who presented him.

“Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel,” he said, shocked and amazed. Despite the fact that Nathanael was barely mentioned in passing in the Gospels, he was transformed into a devoted follower of Jesus Christ in that moment.


El Greco’s “Apostle Saint Matthew,” painted in 1610-1614, is seen in this detail. Image courtesy of Leemage / Corbis via Getty Images Customs official Levi, who later became known as the apostle Matthew, worked in Capernaum and assessed taxes on imports and exports based on his own judgment. For his involvement with Rome and betrayal of his compatriots, he was despised by the Jews. However, when Matthew the dishonest tax collectoroverheard two words from Jesus, “Follow me,” he immediately left everything and followed Jesus’ instructions.

Matthew regarded Jesus as someone who was worthy of sacrifice, and as a result, he renounced his luxurious life in order to serve and follow him.


Caravaggio’s “The Incredulity of Saint Thomas” (The Incredulity of Saint Thomas) was painted in 1603. The general public’s domain “Doubting Thomas” is a nickname given to the apostle Thomas, who refused to accept that Jesus had risen from the dead until he physically touched and felt the wounds of Christ on his body. However, when it comes to disciples, Thomas has had a bad record throughout history. After all, every one of the apostles, with the exception of John, deserted Jesus during his trial and execution on the cross.

Later, he had displayed daring faith by risking his life to accompany Jesus into Judea, demonstrating his commitment to Jesus.

If we are sincerely seeking the truth and are completely open with ourselves and others about our troubles and uncertainties, God will faithfully meet us and show himself to us, just as he did for Thomas, we will be blessed.

James the Less

courtesy of the Hulton Archive / Getty Images James the Less is one of the most obscure apostles in the Bible, and he is also known as James the Less. The only things we know for definite about him are his name and the fact that he was there in the upper chamber of Jerusalem following Christ’s ascension to the right hand of the Father. In his book Twelve Ordinary Men, John MacArthur speculates that his relative obscurity may have been the defining characteristic of his life. James the Less’ full obscurity may disclose something important about his character, and this is a possibility.

Simon the Zealot

Getty Images / Hulton Archive / Known as James the Less in the Bible, he is considered to be one of the more obscure apostles. The only facts we know for definite about him are his name and the fact that he was there in the upper chamber of Jerusalem following Christ’s ascension to the right hand of God. His obscurity, according to John MacArthur’s Twelve Ordinary Men, was maybe what distinguished him throughout his life. James the Less’ full obscurity may disclose something significant about his personality, and this is a possibility.

Thaddeus or Jude

Domenico Fetti’s “Saint Thaddeus” is depicted in this detail. Getty Images courtesy of ArteImmagini srl and Corbis. The apostle Thaddeus, who is included with Simon the Zealot and James the Less, completes a cluster of the disciples who are the least well-known.

Thaddeus is described as a tender-hearted, kind man who possessed a childlike humility in Twelve Ordinary Men, a book written by John MacArthur about the apostles.

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot expresses his regret by tossing the 30 pieces of silver he received as payment for betraying Christ to the authorities. courtesy of the Hulton Archive / Getty Images Iscariot is the apostle who betrayed Jesus by kissing him on the cheek. Some would argue that Judas Iscariot committed the greatest error in human history as a result of this supreme act of treachery. Judas has elicited conflicting reactions from people throughout history. Some people feel a strong sense of hatred toward him, while others feel pity for him, and some people even consider him to be a hero.

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