12 Disciples: Who Were the Men Closest to Jesus?

Discover the significance of the 12 disciples, chosen by Jesus to spread the Gospel and transform into founders of the Church through His teachings.

Introduction to the 12 Disciples

The 12 disciples were a group of men chosen by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry to follow Him, learn from His teachings, and eventually spread the Gospel.

These disciples, also known as apostles, play a significant role in Christianity and are often referenced throughout the New Testament.

  • Simon Peter: Often considered the leader, Peter was known for his boldness and impetuous nature.
  • Andrew: Peter’s brother, he is known for bringing people to Jesus.
  • James: The older brother of John, James was one of the first disciples to join Jesus.
  • John: Known as the “Beloved Disciple,” John wrote several books of the New Testament.
  • Philip: He is known for his questioning nature, seeking to understand Jesus’ teachings fully.
  • Bartholomew (also known as Nathanael): Recognized for his question, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” yet came to follow Jesus earnestly.
  • Matthew (Levi): A former tax collector who authored the Gospel of Matthew.
  • Thomas: Famous for doubting Jesus’ resurrection until he saw Him in person.
  • James, son of Alphaeus: Often referred to as James the Less to distinguish him from James, son of Zebedee.
  • Thaddaeus (Judas, son of James): Known for his question to Jesus in the Gospel of John about His revelation to the disciples.
  • Simon the Zealot: Not much is known about him, but he was part of a nationalist party that opposed Roman rule.
  • Judas Iscariot: Infamous for betraying Jesus, leading to His arrest and crucifixion.

The term “apostle” signifies one who is sent out, and after Jesus’ resurrection, they were indeed sent out to preach the message of the Gospel to all the world (Matthew 28:19-20).

Their transformation from humble followers to founders of the Church is a testament to the impact of Jesus’ teachings and the fulfillment of His mission through them.