Why Did Jesus Choose 12 Disciples? Learn From The Bible

By Charalampos •  Updated: 03/14/23 •  5 min read

Many people know that Christ had 12 disciples who accompanied Him during his sermons and were with Him in the last years of His life. 

The disciples played a critical role in Jesus’ ministry, spreading his teachings and message to the world.

But why did Jesus choose twelve disciples? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this decision.

The Number 12 in Biblical Symbolism

number twelve in the bible

It’s very important to understand the significance of the number 12 in the Bible. The decision to select twelve disciples had a specific purpose and significance.

The number 12 is frequently used to represent completeness or perfection. For example, there were 12 tribes of Israel, 12 gates in the New Jerusalem, and 12 angels around God’s throne. So, the fact that Jesus chose 12 disciples may have been a deliberate choice to represent a sense of completeness or wholeness.

Related Also: What Does Number 5 Mean in The Bible?

12 Disciples Represented A New Israel

the new israel

Another reason why Jesus may have chosen 12 disciples is that they represented a new Israel. In the Old Testament, the twelve tribes of Israel were God’s chosen people. However, by the time Jesus arrived, the Jewish people had become corrupt and were no longer faithful to God. 

Jesus’ choice of 12 disciples could have been a symbol of a new Israel – a group of faithful followers who would spread God’s message to the world.

This explains the special nature of the number. It was a well–defined group that couldn’t be expanded at will, a group that represents the totality of God’s people.

The importance of this number is evidenced at least by the desire of the apostles to restore the number after the betrayal of Judas (Acts. 1, 15-26). «“For,” said Peter, “it is written in the Book of Psalms: “’May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, “’May another take his place of leadership.’» Matthew was elected to replace the fallen Judas.

Jesus Could Train Them Effectively

Another possible reason why Jesus chose 12 disciples is that it was a practical decision. He needed a team of people to help him spread his message. The number 12 may have been chosen because it was small enough to be manageable, but large enough to be effective.

It would be difficult to tell thousands of people about the faith, there would be many «Judas» among them. Jesus could train each disciple personally, and they could work together to spread his message far and wide.

Represented Different Personality Types

Each of the 12 disciples had a unique personality and set of skills. For example, Peter was impulsive and passionate, while Thomas was more skeptical and analytical.

By choosing 12 disciples, Jesus was able to create a diverse team that could appeal to a wide range of people.

Each disciple could connect with different personality types and spread Jesus’ message to a broader audience.

Symbolized Unity

12 disciples symbolized unity. Although each disciple had his own special personality, they all worked together towards a common goal – spreading Jesus’ message and true faith.

 The number 12 is divisible by many different numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, and 6). This meant that no matter how the disciples were divided or grouped, they could still carry the faith for the nations with the same effectiveness.

Unity And Equality Among The Disciples

the disciples united

Jesus chose twelve disciples from different backgrounds, including fishermen, tax collectors, and strong believers.

 This diversity represents the inclusiveness of Jesus’ teachings and his desire for unity among his followers.

He treated each disciple with equality, regardless of their social status or background.

This message of equality was revolutionary at the time and was a significant departure from the hierarchical system of Jewish religious leaders.

Many people were indignant at how Christ could speak equally with the kinds of the population with who Jews weren’t allowed to talk, and how he treated all people equally, regardless of their status and occupation.

The same thing was shown by the apostles, regardless of the position of a person in society, he can always be close to Christ.

Teaching And Training The Disciples

Jesus spent much of his time teaching and training his disciples. He used parables and miracles to illustrate his teachings and to help his followers understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ teachings weren’t limited to just the twelve disciples; he also taught and trained other followers.

However, the twelve disciples were his closest associates, and he spent the most time with them, preparing them for their future mission.

Apostles were always with Christ, often asking him questions. It’s unlikely that a thousand people would have the opportunity to communicate so closely and constantly with Christ, which is why the number of apostles was limited.

Final Thoughts

We can conclude that Christ chose 12 disciples for a reason. It was a deliberate and significant decision that had a specific purpose.

The number 12 has special symbolism in the Bible and means perfection. It connects Jesus’ teachings to the history and traditions of the Jewish people. The special meaning of this symbol can be seen in the fact that the apostles chose a new person to replace Judas, who betrayed Christ.

Also in a large number of people, there would be many traitors and those who would behave inappropriately despite the belief that Christ is God. Such things would defame the birth of true faith.

Christ could also perfectly train the 12 apostles, who could constantly communicate with Him and ask questions, and regardless of the further division of this group, the spread of the true faith among the nations would still be effective.

Apostles showed a great example of unity and equality, thus showing how a Christian should behave in the future.

Also, each of the apostles had a different social status, which clearly showed that for Christ it makes no difference what position a person has in society.

The twelve apostles went on to become the foundation of the Christian Church, and their mission continues to this day.


Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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