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Question and Answer

One of our college students just came back for a break and said that one of his Bible professors taught that the disciples of Jesus were probably teenagers. I never heard that before. Could that be accurate?

The Bible isn’t clear on the exact age of those Jesus chose as His disciples, but this professor is engaging with speculation rather than fact. I believe Jesus chose His disciples regardless of their age. Rabbis generally established schools to which students could come and learn from a chosen teacher. Jesus, however, selected His disciples personally.

Some have suggested that Peter was older, because when Jesus was criticized for not paying the temple tax in Matthew 17, he told Peter to go fishing and then take the coin found in the fish to pay the tax for both Jesus and himself. These people infer that Peter and Jesus were the only ones in the group over the age of twenty and therefore the only ones required to pay taxes according to the Roman law. Others infer the disciples were younger because Jesus called them little children in John 13:33. If they were adults, that term would have been insulting to them. It seems more consistent with Scripture to say that He called them children because they had so much to learn. And the truth is we all have a lot to learn, no matter how old we are.

BY Mike Kellogg

Mike Kellogg worked with Moody Radio for more than 40 years, beginning in 1972. For many years he was the reader on Continued Story and began hosting Music Thru the Night in 1982. He also read the Today in the Word devotional for Moody Radio for many years. In July 2014, Mike retired from full-time radio. He is a graduate of Cedarville University, and has served as adjunct faculty in English and Speech Communications at Moody Bible Institute. He is married to Nancy, and they have 6 children and 16 grandchildren.

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