Who were the 12 Disciples of Jesus?

The 12 disciples of Jesus were ordinary men.

Most were fishermen who worked in their family businesses.

We know that when Jesus called them, they followed him immediately.

They left everything to be with Jesus.

What happened next?

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Matthew 10:5–7 (ESV)

He sent them out to preach this message: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

I bet they had questions. I don’t know if they asked them… But I imagine they wondered:

  • “Jesus, what is the kingdom of heaven?”
  • “Jesus, what do we say to people who don’t believe us?”
  • “Jesus, what if no one listens and we end up without food or anywhere to stay?”

But the most incredible thing is that none of these guys were preachers by vocation.

How the 12 Disciples of Jesus Changed the World

Who were the 12 disciples of Jesus?

They were the leftovers. The guys who didn’t get picked to play on the religious varsity squad. Rabbis had already passed them up.

Yet here they were, going out to preach.

One of them was even a tax collector—who would’ve been hated as a traitor to his own people because for working for the Romans (the bad guys).

These guys, while far from perfect, were willing to be uncomfortable. They were okay with doing something that “wasn’t their job.”


Because Jesus sent them.

This meant that suddenly, something the 12 disciples of Jesus never expected became their mission.

Who’s in charge?

Personally, this is a great challenge to not lock into a narrow definition of my role or calling in Jesus’ kingdom.

I’m his. He’s in charge. So I’m searching my heart…

  • Where am I staying when he’s called me to go?
  • Where am I going when he’s called me to stay?

It’s so simple, but so easy to forget: following Jesus means actually following him.

Sometimes it means being redirected and repurposed.

Even if it’s scary and unexpected, I want to draw confidence from Jesus’ call, not my experience.

Like the 12 disciples of Jesus, where are you being sent that seems outside of your “job description” (often known as a comfort zone)?

Today’s devotion by Jordan Loftis, author of two bestselling books, Today We Win and The Men With Bare Feet, host of The Bible Better Podcast, and editor of Short Daily Devotions.

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