All About 12 Apostle of Jesus

Apostle of Jesus means His disciple. They are mentioned in the Bible. But how many of them are known to you? Do you know about all of them? what is their background? Don’t worry about all these questions! Going through this article, you will  have lots of information about all the 12 disciples of Jesus.

What is known about the 12 apostles?

The 12 apostles of Jesus were ordinary human beings like you and me. However, they were chosen by Jesus Christ for special purposes. They lived with Jesus more than three years, and also became the witness of Jesus’ crucifixion, death, resurrection and resurrection.  Apostles had the special authority from the Lord Jesus. After the ascension of Jesus, they spread the good news about Jesus. Some of them even wrote the books of the New Testament. Others discipled people in Christ and their disciples, who were associated with them, wrote some of the books of the New Testament.

What is the purpose of the 12 apostles?

Jesus’ main purpose of choosing the 12 disciples is mentioned in the Bible. Mark 3:14-15 says that Jesus chose His twelve disciples to be with Him and to send them to preach. He also gave them the authority to cast out demons and sickness. There were many people at that time who also were disciples in some ways, but especially, Jesus selected 12 to be with Him and to go and preach. We have to notice that before sending them to preach in the world, Jesus wanted His disciples to be with Him. An important spiritual lesson here is; we have to be with Him before preaching/sharing about Jesus with others. If we remain with Jesus, our preaching will be more effective. We can cast out demons and sickness in Jesus’ name. 

Who are the 12 of Jesus?

We can see the name of the 12 apostles of Jesus in the gospels (Matt. 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16). So far, we had the concept about what the 12 disciples of Jesus mean, and why they were appointed. Now we will know them by their name and background.   


Andrew was the one of the first disciples of Jesus from the town of Bethsaida (John 1:44). He was the brother of Simon peter. He was a fisherman. Before following Jesus, Andrew was a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:40). John the Baptist testified about Jesus that he is the “Lamb of God” and two of his disciples followed Jesus, and one of them was apostle Andrew (John 1:29-40). He was martyred in the “X” shape cross.  


Simon is the most popular disciple of Jesus in the Bible, to whom we know as Peter. Jesus called Him Cephas, meaning a “stone” (John 1:42). He was from Bethsaida with his brother Andrew. Andrew and Peter were the sons of Jonah. he was also a fisherman with his brother Andrew. Simon Peter’s name is always at first in the list of the 12 apostles in all three gospels (Matt. 10:1-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16). He wrote the two epistles (1 & 2 Peter) of the New Testament, and his closed disciple John Mark wrote the gospel of Mark.  He was martyred in the upside cross.    

James the son of Zebedee

Apostle James was the brother of apostle John and the son of Zebedee. He was from Galilee. We should not have confusion about other James and James the brother of John. Jesus called the “sons of thunder” to James and John (Mark 3:17). He was a fisherman with his brother John. James was the first martyr among 12. He was slain by the sword of  Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:2).  


John the apostle is the younger brother of apostle James, and the son of Zebedee. He is also a fisherman. Apostle John and John the Baptist are different persons. He was one of the disciples of John the Baptist before following Jesus (John 1:40). John was the closest disciple of Jesus. He wrote five books (Gospel of John, 1, 2, & 3 John, and Revelation) of the New Testament. He is only one among 12 disciples of Jesus who died natural death in his full age.  


Phillip was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus. Apostle Phillip and Philip in Acts chapter 8 are different persons. Philip the disciple of Jesus was from the town of Bethsaida (John 1:44). Jesus found Phillip on the way while heading toward Galilee and called to follow Him (John 1:43). When Phillip found Jesus, immediately, he witnessed Jesus to his friend Nathanael Bartholomew (John 1:45-46). Phillip also became a martyr for Christ. 


Apostle Bartholomew was Nathanael Bartholomew, the friend of apostle Phillip (John 1:45-46). His friend Phillip told him about Jesus, Bartholomew saw the greatness of Jesus (John 1:47-51) and later Jesus made him His apostle. Phillip and Bartholomew often appear together in the Bible. Jesus called him a true Israelite, an honest man (John 1:47). Because of his firm belief and spreading the gospel, he also became a martyr.    


Apostle Thomas is also known as the “Doubting Thomas.” He had doubts in the resurrection of Jesus for he was not there while Jesus appeared among His disciples at the very Sunday evening of His resurrection (John 20:19-25). Second time Jesus came to His disciples and Thomas was also there, he saw, touched and believed in Him (John 20:26-29). He became a powerful witness of Jesus. He spread the gospel from Jerusalem to present India. And he was martyred in India.  


Matthew the apostle of Jesus was a tax collector. We know him as Levi as well. Tax collectors in those times were hated people in the eyes of Israelites. Tax collectors used to work for Romans. Misusing their power and authority, they used to collect more money with their brethren. Therefore, tax collector means the worst person, a sinner in the eyes of the people. However, Jesus called Matthew the tax collector and made him a disciple among 12 (Matt. 9:9). Matthew was a Jew and he became an effective witness of Jesus among Jewish people. He wrote the Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. 

James the son of Alphaeus

James the son of Alphaeus also a disciple of Jesus. He is different from another apostle James the son of Zebedee. It means there were two James among the 12 disciples of Jesus. The name of the father of the apostle Matthew is also Alphaeus, but we don’t know whether they are the same person or different. However, James and Judas (Thaddeus) are closely related, and assumed to be the brothers. 


Apostle Judas has three names; Judas, Thaddeus, and Lebbaeus. He is different from Judas Iscariot. Judas/Thaddeus is not the one who betrayed Jesus. He could be the brother of James the son of Alphaeus. The Bible doesn’t mention much about Thaddeus, but we clearly know that He is the one among the 12 disciples (Mark 3:18).

Simon the Zealot

Simon the Zealot is also an apostle of Jesus. He was from Capernaum. He is different from Simon Peter. We know him as Simon the Canaanite. He was a member of Zealot. Zealot was a kind of political party in that time who were against Romans. Their goal was to free Israel from Roman rule. Therefore, they were against those who work for Romans. He spread the gospel to Africa making disciples and baptizing them.   

Judas Iscariot

Judas Iscariot also was among the 12 apostles of Jesus. He was the one  who betrayed Jesus (Matt. 26:25; 27:3). We must know that he is different from Judas (Thaddeus). Judas Iscariot was from a Sadducees family. He was born in Kerioth which is  located in southern Judea. His parents took him to Jericho and he grew up there. Though Jesus called him “brother” (Matt. 26:50), he betrayed Jesus in 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 26:14-16). Because of his greediness, he became “Judas the Betrayer”  from Judas Iscariot. 

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