Jesus Chooses His Disciples

Jesus had been baptized by John the Baptist, and He had fasted for 40 days. Now it was time for Him to organize His Church and take the gospel to many places besides Galilee.

Jesus walked to the Sea of Galilee and got on a ship with a fisherman named Simon. “Let down your nets,” Jesus told Simon.

Simon was surprised. All night long he and his brother Andrew had thrown their nets into the water, trying to catch fish. They had caught nothing. But now Simon tried once more, as Jesus had told him to.

The net filled up with so many fish that it broke! Simon had to call for help to pull the net back into the ship. Jesus told Simon and his brother Andrew, “Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.”

The two brothers left their boat and nets to follow Jesus and learn more about Him. Nearby, Jesus called brothers James and John to leave their ships and follow Him.

Jesus went up into a mountain and prayed all night. In the morning, He chose and ordained 12 men to be His Apostles. They would be with Him during His ministry and see the wonderful things He would do. They would be able to bear witness to others that He is the Son of God and our Savior. Jesus gave them priesthood authority to preach the gospel and heal the sick.

The first Apostle whom Jesus ordained was Simon, the fisherman whose net broke. Jesus gave Simon the new name of Peter. Next He called the fishermen James, John, and Andrew. Jesus then called Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, and Thomas. He also ordained James, Simon, Judas, and Judas Iscariot. Jesus chose each one for a special purpose.

One evening, Jesus and His disciples were in a ship headed to the far side of the Sea of Galilee. As they sailed, Jesus fell asleep in the ship.

While Jesus slept, great winds began to blow and waves beat upon the ship. The tempest filled the disciples with fear. They woke Jesus up and pleaded, “Lord, save us: we perish.”

Jesus stood up. He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still.”

The winds stopped blowing, and there was a great calm on the water. The disciples marveled that even the winds and the seas obeyed Jesus’s commands.

Disciples and Apostles

Disciples are followers of Jesus Christ. Many men, women, and children follow Jesus Christ. Apostles are special disciples—men ordained to have the priesthood authority to lead His Church and bear a witness to the world that Jesus is the resurrected Christ. Today we have the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


Fishing was an important business on the Sea of Galilee. Pickled fish from Galilee were sold all over the Roman Empire.

The Sea of Galilee

The sea is really a large lake. It is 12.5 miles (20 km) long and 7.5 miles (12 km) wide. It is 680 feet (207 m) below sea level, where the weather is very hot. Cold air blows down from the nearby hills, often causing sudden storms on the lake.

Illustrations by Jared Beckstrand