Jesus’ choice of his first disciples was surprising, to say the least.
For starters, in that time, religious students chose their mentors, not vice versa. As the famous Rabbi Gamaliel instructed, “Find a teacher and lose your ignorance,” and that was the common practice of the time for those who wanted religious training. Jesus, however, turned that custom on its head. Instead of waiting for followers to come to him, he went looking for them.
Matthew reports that the first four people Jesus’ called to be his disciples were Peter, Andrew, James, and John. Again, these were surprising choices. For starters, none of these four men were scholars; none was pursuing a career in rabbinical or priestly training. They were all working-class guys, fishermen who expected to spend their lives on the sea. Or as Acts 4:13 described them later, they were “unschooled, ordinary men.”
Why did Jesus pursue these “ordinary” men for disciples? The Bible doesn’t say so we’ll never really know. Apparently, Christ never saw it as necessary to explain his reasoning to us.
[JOB, 126, 128]
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