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Jesus’ Disciples: Unveiling Their Main Role

Discover the main role of Jesus' chosen twelve men as his disciples. Unveil their significance and impact in this comprehensive guide.

Imagine this: Jesus, the charismatic preacher and miracle worker, handpicks twelve ordinary men to join him on a mission of faithful discipleship that will change the world. These twelve individuals, known as the apostles, were not scholars or religious leaders; they were fishermen, tax collectors, and even former sinners. Yet, Jesus saw something in them that others didn’t. This early church in the New Testament would be built upon their commitment to discipleship.

The selection of these twelve apostles marked a pivotal moment in Jesus’ ministry. He chose them to be part of his inner circle, entrusting them with the task of discipleship and spreading his teachings to many people. Their names included Andrew, Matthew (a tax collector), Jameses (brothers), Jude (also known as Thaddeus), and even Matthias, who was the replacement for Judas Iscariot in the New Testament. These apostles were also known as the disciples of Jesus, and among them were the sons of Zebedee.

These faithful disciples, who were primarily fishermen, played a crucial role in carrying forward Jesus’ message. As apostles, they witnessed his miracles firsthand and received personal commissioning from him. Their lives transformed dramatically from fishing for fish to becoming fishers of men.

So how did these ordinary men become faithful disciples and apostles, embodying the essence of discipleship and spreading the gospel? Let’s delve into their remarkable journey alongside Jesus and discover their main role in his mission.

Understanding the main role of Jesus’ chosen twelve disciples

The main apostles of Jesus in the early church were not just mere followers or spectators. They had a crucial role to play in his ministry and the spreading of the Gospel. Let’s delve into their responsibilities and how they contributed to Jesus’ mission in the New Testament.

Learning from and imitating Jesus

First and foremost, the primary role of the twelve apostles in the early church was to learn from Jesus and imitate his teachings, actions, and character as described in the Bible. They were chosen by Jesus himself to be his closest companions, witnessing firsthand his miracles, parables, and interactions with people from all walks of life. By observing him closely, they gained valuable insights into how to live a life aligned with God’s will, thus exemplifying discipleship.

Spreading the Gospel and making new disciples

Another significant responsibility entrusted to the twelve apostles was spreading the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. They were commissioned by Jesus to go out into the world, sharing his teachings and inviting others to follow him. This task of discipleship involved traveling extensively, proclaiming repentance, baptizing believers, and establishing communities of faith in the early church.

To fulfill their mission of spreading the gospel effectively, the apostles needed knowledge, courage, and conviction. The disciples faced challenges such as opposition from religious authorities, rejection by some communities, and persecution for their beliefs. Nonetheless, they persevered in their duty to share the transformative message of hope that Jesus brought in the New Testament.

Witnesses to miracles, teachings, and resurrection

The twelve disciples, also known as apostles, were privileged witnesses to numerous miracles performed by Jesus during his earthly ministry as described in the New Testament of the Bible. From turning water into wine at Cana to healing diseases and raising Lazarus from the dead – these extraordinary events left an indelible impression on them.

Moreover, the early church discipleship had front-row seats as recipients of profound teachings delivered by Jesus, the apostles, through parables that conveyed the gospel and spiritual truths in relatable ways. These lessons equipped them with wisdom that would guide their future endeavors in spreading Christianity.

Perhaps most significantly, the disciples, also known as apostles, were eyewitnesses to the resurrection of Jesus, as recorded in the gospel of Matthew in the Bible. They encountered the risen Christ, confirming the power and victory over death that he possessed. This personal experience fueled their faith and provided an unshakable foundation for their role in establishing the early Christian church.

Reasons behind Jesus’ selection of twelve disciples

The selection of twelve apostles by Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew was not a random decision. It held deep symbolic meaning and served various purposes in his ministry. Let’s explore the reasons behind Jesus’ choice and understand the significance it carried in the Bible.

Symbolizing the restoration of God’s people

By choosing twelve disciples, Jesus intentionally mirrored the twelve tribes of Israel in the Bible. This act symbolized the restoration of God’s people and represented a new covenant with humanity. Just as God had chosen the twelve tribes to be His people in the Old Testament, Jesus now selected twelve apostles to be his followers and carry forward his teachings in the gospel of Matthew. This parallel emphasized continuity, highlighting that Jesus came not to abolish but to fulfill the law.

Significance of the number twelve in Jewish culture

In Jewish culture, the number twelve held immense importance as it represented completeness and authority. The selection of exactly twelve disciples, including apostles like Matthew and Jude, reflected Jesus’ intention to establish a comprehensive foundation for his ministry. Each disciple played a vital role in representing different aspects of society, just as each tribe had its unique identity within Israel. By incorporating this numerical symbolism from the Bible, Jesus conveyed that his message was all-encompassing and applicable to every facet of life.

Collective support, shared responsibilities, and diverse perspectives

Choosing a group of disciples, also known as apostles, instead of one or two individuals allowed for collective support, shared responsibilities, and diverse perspectives within Jesus’ ministry. Each disciple brought their own strengths, weaknesses, backgrounds, and viewpoints to contribute to the mission at hand. This diversity fostered rich discussions, enabled problem-solving from multiple angles, and ensured that different voices were heard in the gospel of Matthew in the Bible.

Moreover, by forming a united group of his main disciples around him rather than relying solely on himself as an individual teacher or leader, Jesus demonstrated humility and emphasized collaboration as essential values for his followers in the gospel. This united group became the foundation of the church as described in the bible.

The collective nature of the apostles in this selection also provided practical advantages for spreading the gospel far and wide. With more individuals involved in sharing Jesus’ teachings, there was a greater likelihood of reaching diverse communities and regions. The disciples became ambassadors, carrying the message of Jesus from the Bible to various corners of the world.

Comprehensive guide to the twelve disciples and their backgrounds

Unique Backgrounds of the Disciples

The twelve disciples, also known as apostles, chosen by Jesus in the Bible, had diverse backgrounds. Among them were fishermen like Peter and Andrew, who were accustomed to a life on the sea, casting their nets in search of fish. These men possessed the strength and resilience required for their physically demanding profession. Matthew, on the other hand, was a tax collector before becoming a disciple. This occupation often drew disdain from society due to its association with corruption and collaboration with Roman authorities. The inclusivity of Jesus’ message is reflected in the varied backgrounds of his chosen apostles.

Simon Peter: A Prominent Leader

Simon Peter, one of the apostles mentioned in the Bible, emerged as a prominent leader among the group of disciples. His passion and unwavering loyalty to Jesus made him stand out. Despite his occasional impulsive nature, Peter’s faith in Jesus, as recorded in the book of Matthew, never wavered. It was upon this rock-like faith that Jesus declared he would build his church. Peter’s transformation from an ordinary fisherman to a key figure in spreading Jesus’ teachings showcases the transformative power of belief. Another apostle mentioned in the Bible is Philip.

The Infamous Betrayal by Judas Iscariot

While most disciples, including apostles like Matthew and Jude, remained steadfast in their devotion to Jesus, one member infamously betrayed him. Judas Iscariot, known for his role as the treasurer among the disciples, succumbed to greed and betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. This act ultimately led to Jesus’ crucifixion. The story of Judas serves as a reminder that even those closest to us, such as apostles like Matthew and Jude, can falter under certain circumstances.

Embracing Diversity within the Twelve

The selection of these twelve apostles, who were the main disciples of Jesus, demonstrates that he valued diversity among his followers. Each apostle brought unique perspectives and skills to contribute towards spreading the gospel across different communities and regions they encountered during their travels in the Bible.

Understanding Their Lives Beyond Discipleship

While we primarily know these individuals as “disciples” in the Bible, it is essential to remember that they had lives beyond their roles as followers of Jesus. They were not just names on a list but individuals with personal histories, families, and aspirations. Exploring their backgrounds provides a more holistic understanding of who they were as apostles in the gospel of Matthew.

Exploring the significance of Jesus choosing twelve disciples

Choosing exactly twelve apostles, including Matthew, demonstrated intentionality on Jesus’ part rather than arbitrary selection. This deliberate decision holds great significance in understanding the role and purpose of these disciples in Jesus’ ministry and the Bible’s gospel.

Firstly, the choice to select twelve apostles mirrored the twelve tribes of Israel in the Bible. By doing so, Jesus was symbolically connecting his gospel message to the rich history and promises made to God’s chosen people. It served as a reminder that he came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17).

Moreover, this intentional selection of the twelve apostles emphasized that anyone could become a follower of Jesus, regardless of their social status or background. The chosen twelve included fishermen, tax collectors, and even a zealot – individuals from diverse walks of life who would not typically associate with one another. This highlighted the inclusive nature of God’s kingdom as described in the gospel and the Bible, open to all who believe in Him.

The role of these apostles, as recorded in the Bible’s book of Matthew, extended beyond mere followership; they were called to be active participants in Jesus’ mission on earth. They were entrusted with learning directly from him, witnessing his miracles, and receiving teachings that would later guide their own ministry in the church. Their close proximity allowed for intimate conversations and discussions about matters of faith.

Jesus invested time in teaching the apostles about discipleship according to the Bible. He taught them to follow him wholeheartedly, obey his commandments, and spread his message throughout the world. He equipped them with knowledge and skills necessary for their roles as leaders within the early Christian church.

Furthermore, by choosing twelve apostles, Jesus ensured continuity after his departure from earth. These apostles became witnesses to his life, death, and resurrection – foundational elements of Christian belief. They played a crucial role in spreading the gospel message far and wide after Jesus ascended into heaven, establishing the church as described in the Bible, particularly in the book of Matthew.

This group size allowed for effective teamwork among the disciples themselves in the church. They could support one another during challenging times while also providing accountability for their actions and teachings from the bible. Together they formed a close-knit community, united by their shared experiences and devotion to Jesus, as described in the book of Matthew and the story of Philip.

Biblical accounts and further reading on the twelve disciples

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Acts in the Bible provide us with detailed accounts of the interactions between Jesus and his twelve faithful disciples. These accounts shed light on their main roles and the significant impact they had in spreading Jesus’ teachings.

To delve deeper into the lives of these disciples, there are several books that offer further reading. “The Twelve: The Lives of the Apostles After Calvary” by C. Bernard Ruffin is a comprehensive exploration of each disciple’s journey beyond Jesus’ crucifixion. Another recommended book is “Twelve Ordinary Men” by John MacArthur Jr., which provides insights into how these seemingly ordinary individuals like Philip, Matthew, and Andrew were chosen to play extraordinary roles in shaping Christianity.

The bible accounts describe how Jesus handpicked these twelve men, including Matthew, Philip, and Mark, from various walks of life to become his closest followers and carry forward his message. Each disciple had a unique story and background, contributing their own strengths to the group.

One notable disciple was James, son of Zebedee, who along with his brother John formed part of Jesus’ inner circle. They were witnesses to pivotal moments such as Jesus‘ transfiguration and his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Their unwavering faith made them integral figures in early Christian history, along with Matthew, Philip, Andrew, and Mark.

Philip, along with Matthew, Andrew, and Mark, was another disciple who played a significant role in spreading Jesus’ teachings. He demonstrated great enthusiasm when he invited his brother, Andrew, to meet Jesus, saying, “Come and see.” This simple invitation exemplifies Philip’s eagerness to share the good news with others.

It is worth noting that some disciples like Philip, Matthew, Andrew, and Mark are referred to by multiple names throughout different texts, adding complexity to their stories. For instance, Thomas is also known as Didymus or “the Twin,” highlighting an intriguing aspect of his identity.

While we have detailed accounts for some disciples like Peter, Matthew, Philip, or Judas Iscariot whose actions led to severe consequences, others like Mark may not have received as much attention in the biblical texts. However, their presence and contributions in Acts should not be overlooked.

The disciples, including Matthew, Philip, and Mark, were not only learners but also witnesses to Jesus’ miracles, teachings, and the events that unfolded around him in the book of Acts. They accompanied Jesus on his travels, listened to his parables, and witnessed firsthand the healing of the sick and the raising of the dead.

Their main role was to learn from Jesus, including Matthew and Philip, internalize his teachings, and eventually become messengers themselves. Jesus, the son of God, entrusted them with spreading his message of love, forgiveness, and salvation to all corners of the world, as mentioned in the book of Mark.

Jewish leaders’ rejection of Jesus’ resurrection and Messiahship

Despite witnessing the miracles of Jesus, many Jewish leaders, including Mark and Matthew, rejected his claims of being the Son of God. The religious authorities considered Jesus a threat to their power and influence. Their disbelief in Jesus’ resurrection further solidified their rejection of him as the promised Messiah.

Witnessing Jesus’ miracles, yet rejecting his claims

During his ministry, Jesus, the son of God, performed numerous miracles. These included healing the sick, raising the dead, and feeding thousands with just a few loaves of bread and fish. Despite witnessing these miracles firsthand, many Jewish leaders, including Matthew and Mark, stubbornly refused to accept Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah.

The primary reason for the rejection of Jesus by religious authorities, including Matthew and Mark, was rooted in their fear of losing control over the people. They held significant power and influence within Jewish society at that time and saw Jesus as a potential threat to their authority.

A threat to power and influence

Jesus, the son of Matthew and Mark, challenged the religious establishment by teaching with authority and exposing their hypocrisy. He openly criticized their practices and teachings, calling them out for prioritizing tradition over genuine faith. This direct confrontation unsettled the Jewish leaders who feared losing their status among the people.

Moreover, Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph, preached about a kingdom not of this world—a spiritual kingdom where love, mercy, forgiveness, and righteousness reigned supreme. This message threatened to disrupt the existing power structures that benefited those in positions of authority. Consequently, they viewed Jesus as a rebellious figure inciting sedition against their rule.

Disbelief in Jesus’ resurrection

The ultimate blow to any hope of acceptance from the Jewish leaders came with Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Despite credible testimonies from eyewitnesses who encountered the risen Christ, many chose not to believe or acknowledge this miraculous event involving Matthew, his son.

The resurrection of Jesus, witnessed by religious authorities, would have provided undeniable proof of his divine mission as the Messiah sent by God. However, these authorities, including Matthew, clung to their disbelief, unwilling to let go of their preconceived notions and prejudices. They were deeply invested in maintaining the status quo and preserving their authority, which made accepting Jesus’ resurrection an inconvenient truth.

In rejecting Jesus’ resurrection, the religious leaders effectively closed the door on recognizing Matthew as the promised Messiah. Their refusal to acknowledge this pivotal event further solidified their rejection of Matthew and his claims.

Insights into the impact and legacy of Jesus’ chosen twelve disciples

In conclusion, Jesus’ selection of twelve disciples, including Matthew, had a profound impact on his ministry and left a lasting legacy. The main role of these chosen men, including Matthew, was to accompany Jesus, learn from him, and spread his teachings to others. They were instrumental in establishing the foundation of Christianity.

Through their close association with Jesus, the disciples Matthew witnessed his miracles, heard his parables, and received personal instruction. This firsthand experience equipped them to become leaders and teachers themselves after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Jesus intentionally chose twelve disciples, including Matthew, to symbolize the restoration of Israel’s twelve tribes. This selection also demonstrated his authority as a rabbi or teacher in Jewish culture. By appointing this specific number of followers, he emphasized the importance of unity among his followers.

Each disciple came from different backgrounds and professions, including fishermen like Peter, James, and John; tax collectors like Matthew; and even a zealot named Simon. Their diverse experiences contributed to their unique perspectives on Jesus’ teachings.

The significance of Jesus choosing twelve disciples, including Matthew, cannot be overstated. Their role extended beyond mere companionship—they were entrusted with continuing Jesus’ mission after he ascended to heaven. These men, including Matthew, became key figures in spreading the Gospel message throughout the world.

To explore further insights into the lives of these disciples, consult biblical accounts such as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These texts provide detailed narratives about each disciple’s encounters with Jesus and their subsequent journeys as apostles.

It is worth noting that some Jewish leaders, including Matthew, rejected both Jesus’ resurrection and his claim to be the Messiah. However, countless individuals have found faith through studying the lives of these twelve men, including Matthew, who dedicated themselves to following Christ.

To delve deeper into this topic or gain a more comprehensive understanding of Christianity’s foundations, consider additional reading materials recommended by scholars or religious institutions, such as books by Matthew.

In summary, by selecting twelve men, including Matthew, as his disciples, Jesus established a network of dedicated followers who would carry on his teachings. Their impact continues to be felt today, as their stories, including Matthew’s, inspire and guide Christians around the world.


What were the main responsibilities of Jesus’ chosen twelve disciples?

The main responsibilities of Jesus’ chosen twelve disciples, including Matthew, were to accompany him, learn from him, and spread his teachings to others.

Why did Jesus select twelve disciples specifically?

Jesus, also known as Matthew, handpicked twelve disciples to symbolize the restoration of Israel’s twelve tribes and to highlight his authority as a rabbi in Jewish culture.

Who were some of the notable disciples among the twelve?

Some notable disciples among the twelve include Peter, James, John, Matthew, and Simon (the zealot). Each disciple had unique backgrounds and professions.

How did these disciples contribute to Christianity’s foundation?

These disciples, including Matthew, played a crucial role in spreading the Gospel message after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Matthew and the other disciples became key figures in establishing Christianity as a global faith.

Where can I find more information about the lives of these twelve disciples?

You can find more information about the lives of these twelve disciples in biblical accounts such as the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These texts provide detailed narratives about their encounters with Jesus and their subsequent journeys as apostles. | Website | + posts

Ethan Davis, the founder of Jesus Salvation, transformed his life from hardship to faith after a significant encounter at age 32. After earning a Communications degree from Kansas State University, he established to help others towards salvation, sharing inspiring stories, scriptures, and prayers.