Jobs of the 12 Disciples

The 12 Disciples of Jesus and their occupation

The jobs of the 12 disciples have always been a topic of deliberation over time. The 12 disciples of Jesus are a set of selected elites in the Bible and the Scriptures also made us understand that the 12 disciples of Jesus represented the 12 tribes in Israel.

One would think that these men would be extraordinary men with mighty abilities at their birth, but the reverse is the case. 

These disciples got their fame by being with Jesus and doing ministry work with Him. Let’s take a look at the jobs of the 12 disciples and what were their occupations and the family they came from. 

Who are the 12 Disciples of Jesus and what Job did they do?

According to the Bible, when Jesus was starting His ministry, he hand-picked 12 disciples to work with him. Let us learn their names, the families they come from, and what they did for a living before Jesus’ call;


Peter, son of Jonas and also called Simon Peter or Cephas (meaning rock), was the leader and most outspoken disciple of Jesus. His influence among the disciples and in the early church was so great that his name is the most mentioned amongst the twelve disciples in the New Testament. Apostle Peter was one of the disciples who spent the most time with Jesus; more like an inner circle. 

Peter has two books to his name (1st and 2nd Peter). He died as a martyr just like Jesus, but in his case, he requested they turn him upside down as a show of respect for Jesus. Peter was the only married disciple.

Peter’s source of livelihood before he answered the call to become a disciple was fishing. Jesus met him while he was fishing

James the Greater

James, son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother to John was another member of the inner circle of Jesus. Because of this closeness, he experienced special events such as the transfiguration on Mount Tabor and the miracle of raising Jairo’s daughter from the dead. 

James was the first person to be martyred. King Herod beheaded him. 

James was a fisher by profession, he was also an employer of labor in his time.


Like James, his elder brother, John was also a son of Zebedee and Salome and the third member of Jesus’ inner circle. John has four books (1st, 2nd, and 3rd John and Revelation) in the Bible to his name. 

He was the only disciple of Jesus to die a natural death, although there was once an attempt on his life. History has it that John was intolerant and had an uncontrollable temper.

Like James and Peter, John was also a fisher. 

Jesus calling the disciples
Jesus calling the disciples


Bartholomew, also known as Nathaniel, was born in Talmai. His father lived in Cana in Galilee. His father was at the time a king in Geshur. On his first encounter with Jesus, Jesus called him an outright Israelite. 

Bartholomew died a martyr after being beaten, crucified, and beheaded. Before his unfortunate death, he was a diligent researcher of the Scriptures. His occupation is unknown, but he might have been a fisher since he was with Andrew, James, and John when Jesus appeared to them after his resurrection.


Phillip from Bethesda, the first disciple to receive the call from Jesus, was a great evangelist of the gospel. We see this in his forwardness to talk about Jesus to Nathaniel. As a symbol of respect for Jesus, he requested that his body be wrapped in papyrus instead of linen. 

Like most of the fold, we believe Phillip to be a fisher. Scholars also say Phillip that he was a man with a warm heart and a pessimistic personality. His death was by hanging.

Thomas Didymus 

Thomas is one who lived in Galilee. Another name they called him was Didymus. He was first mentioned in the Scriptures for his doubting when he was told about Jesus, hence the name “doubting Thomas”. A diligent study of the gospel shows that although he could be a pessimist, he was devoted to the gospel and full of faith.


Jude, also known as Judas or Thaddeus, is the elder brother to James, and also a son of Alpheus. He once asked Jesus and from research, Jude believed in the ruling of the world by the chosen people.

Jude has quite a silent story in the bible, though he has a chapter in the New Testament the Bible. Jude died from the arrows shot at him in Ararat.

There was no mention of the job description of Jude. 


Simon the Zealot was a disciple of Jesus who originated in Canaan. The only information available about Simon is that he was a zealot. Zealots were a Jewish fanatic sect who had little belief in the struggles and suffering accompanied by the Christian faith. 

With Simon’s background, we could say that his job description was politically inclined. He died a martyr. 


Matthew, also known as Levi as a son to Alpheus, was a controversial disciple of Jesus. His means of earning made him one of the controversial disciples of Jesus. Matthew, who lived in Capernaum died in Ethiopia at the hands of King Hyrcanus by a spear.

Matthew’s occupation before the call by Jesus was as a tax collector. Tax collectors were the most hated set of people in those days, as they were unfair. Yet Jesus found him worthy of the course of the gospel. He has an entire book in the New Testament to his name. 

James the Less

James the Less is a son of Alpheus and a younger brother to Jude. Like his brother Jude, he also lived in Galilee. Scholars believe he is the writer of the book of James in the Bible.

They also say he was a man with a fiery and strong character.

His body was sawed into bits after he died.

There was no clear description of the job he did to earn.

Judas Iscariot 

Judas Iscariot, a son of Simon, lived in Kerioth of Judah. He is a popular name in the gospel of Jesus because he betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver through a kiss. Although there is no trace of how Judas received the call, he gave three years to following Jesus. 

Judas served as the treasurer during Jesus’ ministry on Earth. The weight of his betrayal was heavy on his shoulder to the point he killed himself. 

The death of Judas Iscariot brought about a vacancy, and there was a need for a replacement. And they chose Matthias after casting lots between him and Joseph or Barabbas. After the appointment with Matthias, there was little or no mention of him. Historians say he lived till 80 A.D. 

Conclusion The Jobs of the 12 Disciples

Who are the 12 disciples and what were their occupations? The Lord Jesus had many followers during His earthly ministry, and many more have chosen to do so in the centuries following. As Jesus began to obtain followers, He selected twelve to follow Him in a closer way, who received personal teachings and explanations. He called them personally to Him.

The Bible provides no information on the professions of Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Thaddaeus, or James, the son of Alphaeus. It does provide information about Paul, who became an apostle after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He was a Pharisee and may have taught religion or worked in political office. During his missionary journeys, Paul supported himself as a tentmaker according to Acts 18:1; Acts 18:2; Acts 18:3.

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