Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths and Weaknesses of the 12 Disciples

Then Jesus told them,

“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter replied

“Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

To understand more of the 12 disciples’ strengths and weaknesses we turn to the Holy Book but while the Bible speaks extensively on the strengths of some of the protagonists among the Lord’s apostles, there is however scarcely enough information to draw conclusions on the strengths and weaknesses of all 12 messengers of God.

Thankfully, we have perused through archives of reliable data, and biblical books to put together some of the notable strengths and faults of the 12 disciples of Christ.

christ with his 12 disciples strengths and weaknesses
Christ with his disciples


It is only understandable that apostles such as Saint Peter may have better expositions than most other apostles for obvious reasons.

Let’s start in the manner trodden by Christ. We begin with the first disciple of the Lord.

Peter, also known as Cephas or Simon Peter was an apostle of the church and is widely regarded as the first pope of God’s church.

Strength of Peter

To large extent, Peter is a bold leader carismatico tra gli apostoli di Cristo. La sua fede completa e totale nel Figlio di Dio proietta livelli più elevati di tolleranza al rischio rispetto alla maggior parte degli altri apostoli. La sua forza deriva da un luogo di fede e da un certo livello di attaccamento emotivo alla causa del Figlio di Dio.

le sue debolezze

One of the weaknesses of Peter from a modern-day perspective is his seemingly talkative nature which is evident on the mount of transfiguration.

When the men appeared on the mount, Peter began

“Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Mark 9:5; Mark 9:6).

In questo contesto, a Pietro viene prestata poca o nessuna attenzione poiché la voce di Dio emana dalle nuvole dicendo:

‘This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!’ (Mark 9:7).

This talkative nature of Peter becomes even more evident when Jesus is being led away from His disciples.

saint peter
San Pietro

Then Jesus told them,

“This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter replied,

“Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

“I tell you the truth,”

Jesus answered,

“this very night before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

But Peter declared,

“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”

And all the other disciples said the same.

As is often the case with those who have talkative tendencies, Peter seemed to act before giving thought to his actions. A typical example would be his attempt to stop the arrest of Jesus by cutting the ear of a servant.

the crucifixion of st andrew
The Crucifixion of St Andrew


According to the scripture, Sant'Andrea is the biological brother of Simon Peter. Also a fisherman, and originally a disciple of John the Baptist. (Mark 1:16; Mark 1:17; Mark 1:18).

The Byzantine church refers to him as

‘Protokletos’ which means ‘first called’.

Unlike his brother Peter, not much is documented about the life of Andrew. Fewer quotes are also attributed to Andrew in comparison to Peter his brother.

Strength of Andrew

Andrew era un amante della verità, e lo seguì dovunque lo conducesse. È importante notare che era un discepolo di Giovanni Battista, prima di seguire Gesù. Sulla base di resoconti biblici, Andrew era il primo discepolo a identificare Cristo and called his brother Peter to meet Jesus (John 1:41).

le sue debolezze

Andrew’s exploits are not exactly as profound as that of his brother Peter in the Bible. Therefore, there isn’t exactly much information about him to conclude on his weaknesses.

However, it is important to note that like all other apostles of Christ, Andrew abandoned Jesus Christ during the trial and crucifixion.

Andrew seemed to be quite a simple man, with an objective mind, and this created room for yet another evident weakness recorded in the Bible.

When Jesus was preaching and needed to feed the congregation, He asked his disciples to go around to see what could be gotten.

“One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him,

‘There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?’” (John 6:8; John 6:9)

Here, Andrew displays the hurdles of objectivity in the face of divinity. Even though he believed, he was a man who struggled to fully believe in the might of Christ the Son of God.

saint james the apostle
Saint James the Apostle

Giacomo il Maggiore

San Giacomo figlio di Zebedeo è uno dei più stretti apostoli di Cristo.

He along with John and Peter remains the most prominent of all Christ’s disciples according to biblical recordings.

These three disciples were present at Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36; Matthew 26:37; Matthew 26:38; Matthew 26:39; Matthew 26:40; Matthew 26:41; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 26:43; Matthew 26:44; Matthew 26:45; Matthew 26:46.), the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1; Matthew 17:2; Matthew 17:3; Matthew 17:4; Matthew 17:5; Matthew 17:6; Matthew 17:7; Matthew 17:8), and the raising of the little girl (Luke 8:51)

Strengths of James the Greater

Un estremamente fedele disciple of Christ was James such that who was willing to take fanatical actions against those who would dare question the authority of his Christ. It is therefore little wonder why James and his brother were named “Boanerges” by Jesus. ‘James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder)’ (Mark 3:17)

le sue debolezze

James the Great had a fanatical manner of resolving issues and had to be called to order on a few occasions. For him, the gospel didn’t exactly apply to earthly things as he was often a physical representation of the Biblical phrase “the violent taketh it by force”.

Yet another side of James and his brother John who are both sons of Zebedee comes forth when they try to secure a place for themselves forever with the Lord.

“And James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Him, saying to Him,

‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.’

And He said to them,

‘What do you want Me to do for you?’

E gli dissero:

‘Grant that we may sit in Your glory, one on Your right, and one on Your left.’

Ma Gesù disse loro:

‘You do not know what you are asking for. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?’

E gli dissero:

'Noi siamo capaci.'

E Gesù disse loro:

‘The cup that I drink you shall drink; and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. But to sit on My right or on My left, this is not Mine to give; but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.’”

(Mark 10:35; Mark 10:36; Mark 10:37; Mark 10:38; Mark 10:39; Mark 10:40)

This action by James and his brother brought forth resentment from other disciples and suggests that James may have harbored selfish tendencies along with fanatism.


San Giovanni was the second son of Zebedee, a brother to James the Greater who happened to be the first martyr among the apostles.

It may seem that the sons of Zebedee were comparatively wealthy as they had servants.

Strength of John

Like his brother James, John had an unquenchable zeal to work in the vineyard of Christ. And among all the apostles of Jesus Christ, John is said to be the disciple Jesus loved the most (John 13:23; John 19:26; John 20:2; John 21:7; John 21:20).

saint john stained glass
Saint John stained glass

le sue debolezze

But for the gift of the Holy Spirit, John could have easily become fanatical. A typical example of such tendencies rears its head just after the Transfiguration.

Upon seeing this cold welcome from the Samaritans, James and John tried to persuade Jesus to do something ruthless. “Lord,” they ask, “do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” (Luke 9:54).

It is little wonder, that James and John were called the “Sons of Thunder” by Jesus Christ. Ironically, John would grow to become an apostle of love after the death and ascension of Christ.


San Filippo seems to share certain similarities with Andrew as their Greek names suggest a Greek heritage. This made it even clearer as Philip acts as a spokesman for the Greeks at the Passover.

Philip saw himself as a leader and representative of potential Greek believers and often seemed to try to ask questions from a Greek perspective in line with his rather inquisitive nature.

“For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom;”

(1 Corinthians 1:22)

Strength of Philip

Philip oozes an independent man who thinks for himself and is inquisitive about how the Lord’s message applies to the Greeks especially.

Philip is an early believer in the coming Christ, however, his practical manner of thought often causes him to make human, divine matters. He found Nathanael and told him about the Messiah.

“Now Philip was from Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him,

‘We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’” (John 1:44; John 1:45).

le sue debolezze

Philip’s seemingly evident weakness was his deficiency in the knowledge of the things of God. It seems that he was quite aware of his shortcomings in this regard and this may explain why he thought it wise to consult Andrew when the Greeks sought to see Jesus.

saint philip the apostle
Saint Philip the Apostle


Very little is known about San Bartolomeo biblically and otherwise. In fact, there are those who believe Nathanael and Bartholomew to be one and the same individual.

This may be attributed to the use of either Nathanael or Bartholomew along with similar characters in the gospels. For instance, the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke often mention Bartholomew and Philip in context (Luke 6:14; Matthew 10:3; Marco 3:18).

In the fourth gospel, however, Nathanael and Philip are mentioned with no mention of Bartholomew.

saint bartholomew
San Bartolomeo

Strength of Bartholomew

Bartholomew is a man behind the scenes whose belief in God and His Son Jesus Christ is mostly personal. In today’s world, he would be one who would be difficult to identify as a man of God but for his character and manner of life.

His intentions towards the things of God are explicitly shown when Jesus says to him

‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’ (John 1:47).

le sue debolezze

While very little is written about the Apostle Bartholomew, one statement often comes to play. When Andrew who hails from the same city of Bethsaida as Bartholomew tells of the new Messiah, and his Galilean origin, Bartholomew is quick to express scornful disbelief saying

“Può venire qualcosa di buono da Nazaret?”


San Matteo, the tax collector is one of the prominent apostles of Christ. Matthew’s call to discipleship is frowned upon by the congregation, even some of the disciples.

His call serves as an indication of God’s willingness to accept us regardless of outward dispositions.

Calling Matthew a tax collector must have pricked the Jews as tax collectors had a reputation for being wicked men engaging in all manners of fraudulent activities and oppression.

saint matthew
San Matteo

Strength of Matthew

Matteo è un individuo risoluto come nel caso della maggior parte delle persone incaricate di riscuotere le tasse. La sua volontà di abbandonare assolutamente tutto e seguire Gesù Cristo mostra questo tratto nel miglior modo possibile.

le sue debolezze

Very little is spoken about the apostle Matthew from Biblical references. Apart from his call by Jesus Christ, he is not mentioned again throughout the New Testament.

Most generally agree that Matthew must have been a greedy man seeing that this was the norm within his occupational circles, however, nothing suggests this except for the fact that he was a tax collector.


San Tommaso rimane uno dei personaggi più interessanti tra gli apostoli, poiché è popolarmente noto per la sua pessimismo dopo la risurrezione di Cristo.

However, this popularly touted part of Thomas does not do justice to the man that he was.

saint thomas
San Tommaso

Strength of Thomas

Thomas contrary to his pessimistic tendencies is the only disciple who encouraged Jesus Christ on his intention to visit Bethany and heal Lazarus despite the growing dangers to Jesus’ life.

Didymus as he is also called says

“Let us also go; that we may die with him.”

in opposition to the other disciples who would rather remain.

le sue debolezze

Thomas’s pessimism and lack of understanding seemed to be his weaknesses. For instance, his question to Jesus on the night before the Lord was crucified reads

“Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”(Giovanni 14:5).

This shows his lack of understanding and pessimism as Jesus had already answered a similar question.

“Simon Peter said to Him,

‘Lord, where are You going?’

Jesus answered,

‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you shall follow later.’”( John 13:36).

His popular pessimist views may be seen here:

When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them,

‘Peace be with you.’

And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples, therefore, rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus, therefore, said to them again,

‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them,

‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.’

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples, therefore, were saying to him,

'Abbiamo visto il Signore!'

Ma disse loro,

‘Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’” (John 20:25)

kiss of judas
Kiss of Judas

Giuda Iscariota

Giuda Iscariota is arguably the smartest of all the apostles of Christ, however, he is the only one who isn’t a Galilean.

La sua posizione come tesoriere può essere attribuito al suo ingegno.

Unfortunately, it seems his wits become the reason for his downfall.

Strength of Judas Iscariot

Judas is widely knowledgeable and intelligent. But that’s about it.

le sue debolezze

Evidently, Judas may not have been a true believer in Christ. And was there for whatever he could gain. It is little wonder why Jesus called him the son of Perdition (John 17:12).

An evident outlook on how Judas’ mind worked:

“Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving, but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him.

Mary, therefore, took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said,

Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii, and given to poor people?

Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer [steal a little bit at a time] what was put into it.” (John 12:1; John 12:2; John 12:3; John 12:4; John 12:5; John 12:6).

It is important to note that his love for money made him fall short of the glory of Christ, and allowed Satan a path through which to use him.

saint james the less
San Giacomo il Minore

James, Son of Alphaeus

James the son of Alphaeus was regarded as San Giacomo il Minore or Little which may have indicated a difference in age or height with James the son of Zebedee who was referred to as James the Great.

Strength of James the Less

James’ presence during the last supper is indicative of his relevance to the ministry of God’s word. It is also possible that he was the first to see Jesus after the resurrection. He’s widely regarded as a rather faithful apostle among all apostles.

le sue debolezze

Not much is known about James the less. It is however evident that he fled along with other disciples on the eve of Christ’s crucifixion.

apostle simon
Simone apostolo

Simone lo Zelota

C'è un po' di polemica su chi fosse San Simone lo Zelota.

Some suggest that he was a member of a rebellious Jewish sect called Zealots, others claim that the title zealot may have been conferred just to acknowledge his zeal towards the things of Christ.

In altre traduzioni della Bibbia, è spesso indicato come Simone il Cananeo.

The Zealots were a sect of Jews that vehemently opposed the Roman governance of the Jews. In today’s terms, the Romans may have referred to them as terrorists, as they were often known to slip through crowds during festivities and slit the throats of targets with a Sicari (a short curved knife) and disappear.

Forza di Simone lo Zelota

Simone lo Zelota era resolute in these dealings. Ha fatto un passo indietro rispetto alla sua vita passata e ha seguito Gesù Cristo fino alla fine.

le sue debolezze

As was the case with other disciples, Simon the Zealot abandoned Christ on the night before his crucifixion. He also seemed to lack leadership qualities but made up for it as a cult-like follower of whatever he believed in.

st jude thaddeus
St Jude Thaddeus

Giuda figlio di Giacomo

Judas, the son of James is also referred to as Saint Judas the Zealot.

Forza di Giuda

Judas is an enthusiastically inquisitive fellow.

'Signore, che è dunque accaduto che ti manifesti a noi e non al mondo?'

Gesù rispose e gli disse:

'Se uno mi ama, osserverà la mia parola; e il Padre mio lo amerà e noi verremo a lui e prenderemo dimora presso di lui.

Chi non mi ama non osserva le mie parole, e la parola che voi ascoltate non è mia, ma del Padre che mi ha mandato.

Judas the Zealot was a lover of Christ and his teachings.

Queste cose ti ho detto mentre rimanevo con te.'”

la sua debolezza

He like most disciples abandoned Christ on the eve of the crucifixion and went into hiding.

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daily roman missal - third edition

Messale Romano Quotidiano – Terza Edizione

Passi biblici e preghiere che formano il ricco arazzo della nostra Messa, un'idea regalo bella e duratura.

Il Messale Romano Quotidiano, Terza Edizione, durevole e bello con una profonda copertina in cuoio rigenerato imbottito bordeaux e 6 pennarelli a nastro, è sia uno strumento che un tesoro per ogni cattolico che desidera conoscere, amare e vivere la Messa in modo più completo.

Il Messale Romano Quotidiano, Terza Edizione, presenta il valore dell'anno liturgico della Sacra Scrittura, permettendo ai fedeli di seguire e approfondire la santa celebrazione della Chiesa, comprese quelle per le liturgie domenicali.

Questa nuova edizione è aggiornata con le linee guida del Comitato Vescovile per la Liturgia.

*Settima Edizione, Terza Ristampa Copyright 1993-2012 – Testi del Messale Romano, Terza Edizione, Copyright 2010 – Tavola Calendario Liturgico Anni 2011-2024
st patrick apostle of ireland 1911

San Patrizio Apostolo d'Irlanda 1911

Se stai cercando un libro di storia di San Patrizio che mostri l'amore e il rispetto dell'autore per questo grande santo irlandese, sarai felice di leggere e possedere questa leggenda di San Patrizio. Io sono.

"Questo è uno dei migliori libri sui santi che abbia letto."

“L'abbiamo letto insieme come una lettura ad alta voce in famiglia. Molto interessante!"

San Patrizio, apostolo d'Irlanda, è pieno di fede e un po' di bel gergo.
(Non lo chiamerò Blarney, perché molti di noi pensano che Blarney sia semplicemente un dono della parlantina che non sempre riflette ciò che è necessariamente vero, specialmente quando si chiama "leggenda".)

Siamo felici di offrire questa bellissima versione della sua vita e dei suoi tempi perché si legge come la storia giornalistica, eppure è emozionante e ti stupisce con le distanze che ha percorso e i miracoli che ha operato.


Questo articolo sui punti di forza e di debolezza dei 12 discepoli intraprende un percorso unico verso la visualizzazione dell'umanità di i dodici apostoli di Cristo, e come queste imperfezioni possono aver influito sulla loro relazione con il Figlio di Dio e sulla loro fede nella venuta del Messia.

Prende nota dei vangeli e di altri documenti accademici verificabili per dimostrare che questi apostoli erano davvero uomini della carne che hanno lottato con sfide comuni come facciamo oggi.

Il loro incontro con Cristo mostra il percorso da una vita di imperfezione, mostrando le colpe dei 12 discepoli attraverso apprendimento e fede completa e infine, la fede in Gesù Cristo.

FAQ 12 Disciples Strengths and Weaknesses

What were the strengths of the 12 disciples?

The strengths of the 12 disciples included their loyalty, courage, and determination.
Some of the strengths of the 12 disciples include Peter’s impetuousness and loyalty, Andrew’s boldness, James and John’s ambition, Philip’s skepticism turned into faith, Bartholomew’s eagerness to learn, Matthew’s ability to leave everything behind, Thomas’ doubt turned into conviction, Judas Iscariot’s passion, James son of Alphaeus’ gentleness, Simon the Zealot’s endurance, and Judas son of James’ wisdom.

What were the weaknesses of the 12 disciples?

The weaknesses of the 12 disciples included their human frailties such as doubt, fear, and pride.

How did the 12 disciples overcome their weaknesses?

The 12 disciples overcame their weaknesses through their faith in Jesus Christ.

How did the weaknesses of the 12 disciples affect their relationship with Jesus Christ?

The weaknesses of the 12 disciples affected their relationship with Jesus Christ in many ways. For example, Peter’s impetuousness led to his denial of Jesus, Andrew struggled with the worldly temptations that he and the other disciples faced, James and John were often jealous and ambitious for power, Philip was hesitant about believing in Jesus’ teachings, Bartholomew doubted at times and became more open to learning through experience, Matthew had a hard time letting go of his former life as a tax collector, Thomas struggled with skepticism and doubt before ultimately coming around to believe in Christ, Judas Iscariot was prone to greed and arrogance that eventually led him to betray Jesus, James son of Alphaeus lacked self-confidence when standing up for what he knew was right and Simon the zealot was often too quick to anger.

What can we learn from the strengths and weaknesses of the 12 disciples?

From the strengths and weaknesses of the 12 disciples, we can learn that even the most devout followers of Christ are human and have flaws. We can also learn that it is possible for anyone to overcome their weaknesses and turn them into strengths through faith, determination, and perseverance. Additionally, we can see that the 12 disciples were able to use their unique skills and talents to help further Jesus’ mission and spread his message of love and forgiveness to the world.

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