For effectiveness in reaching Israel, Jesus naturally limited his disciples to free male Jews; perhaps due to the pool of available disciples, he also seems to have selected mainly Galileans. We know the occupations of roughly half of his disciples; of these, all were middle-income professions in which less than 10 percent of Jewish Palestine's population engaged (fishermen and tax gatherers), perhaps to give emphasis to socially prominent individuals who were nevertheless unassociated with any religious or social elite. Notably, Jesus did not invite any who were already religious professionals-hence already schooled in particular ideas-into his inner circle.
Despite these common features of the disciples, however, the list indicates some diversity. To include a tax collector (who was backed by the elite, v. 3) and possibly a revolutionary (v. 4) in the same band of disciples was noteworthy. Any of us who struggle with whether we are adequate to carry out God's purposes in the world should recall that the first ambassadors Jesus called were wholly inadequate. God uses especially those who will recognize their own inadequacy, for those who suppose their own ability adequate for God's call usually end up depending on it instead of on him.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.