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John 1:

40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John [the Baptizer] had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).

Mark 1:

16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 18At once they left their nets and followed him.

19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Was Andrew the first disciple among the Twelve?

Were Andrew and Peter the first two disciples among the Twelve?

Related question:

How did the first disciples of Jesus come to be?
My question is more specifically about who was the #1 first disciple.

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    It is likely that the person with Andrew was John himself, as usual referring to himself (in narrative) in the third person. Peter and Andrew, John and James, were closely involved in the fishing business and it is likely they travelled together, from Galilee to Judaea, taking time off from their family businesses, to follow the ministry of John the Baptist. I don't know how you will be able to say who was 'first' exactly. I doubt it is possible.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 8 at 14:35
  • Good possibility. Expand it a little. I'll upvote it :)
    – Tony Chan
    Oct 8 at 14:50
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It is likely that the person with Andrew was John himself, as usual referring to himself (in narrative) in the third person, John 1:35-40.

Peter and Andrew, John and James, were closely involved in the fishing business and it is likely they travelled together, from Galilee to Judaea, taking time off from their family businesses, to follow the ministry of John the Baptist.

Later, after the disciples returned to their family businesses, Jesus came northwards and, having already called them as individuals to follow him, he then called the four of them, Mark 1:14-20, to the ministry, to 'become fishers of men'.

Whereupon, they left their nets, and followed Jesus as itinerants, being supported by other disciples in their ministry.

I don't know how you will be able to say who was 'first' exactly. I doubt it is possible.

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    True, John's account appears to be the first calling. Then, the synoptic account in the boats is the call to a different profession.
    – Perry Webb
    Oct 8 at 15:48
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The first disciple to whom Jesus addressed the words "Follow me" was Philip. Philip was from the same city as Andrew and Peter: Bethsaida (see John 1:44). But Andrew had followed Jesus the day before, of his own accord, not waiting to be called. The Bible says that two of John's disciples had followed Jesus together, and identifies one of these as being Andrew. So Andrew was one of the first two.

Can we figure out who the other one of the "first" disciples was? Let's try.

The First Two Disciples: Andrew and ?

One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. (John 1:40, KJV)

The Third Disciple: Simon Peter

He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. (John 1:41-42, KJV)

The Fourth Disciple, First One to Be Called by Jesus: Philip

The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. (John 1:43, KJV)

The Fifth Disciple: Nathanael

Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. ... Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. (John 1:45,48; KJV)

We see no more of the disciples' callings in John's account, for the next we know from John is that Jesus has 12 disciples already.

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (John 6:67, KJV)

The other three gospels give account of Matthew's calling.

Matthew / Levi Matthew

And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him. (Matthew 9:9, KJV)

And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him. (Mark 2:14, KJV)

And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. (Luke 5:27, KJV)

Judas, we know, was not called by Jesus, but was suggested to him by the other disciples, and Jesus accepted him. None of the other disciples is directly mentioned as to having been called, with the exception that several of them, including Andrew who had followed Jesus without being called, were later called, as if to make it "official."

And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:18-19, KJV)

And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. (Matthew 4:21, KJV)

Because these callings were early in the process, and should have preceded even Levi Matthew, we can infer that either James or John must have been the "other disciple" who had first followed Jesus. John, who is the one to have recorded Andrew following Jesus, would have had little reason to hide his brother's identity, had it been James; but both modesty and the fact that John seems to have had personal knowledge of Andrew's following of Jesus imply that the other disciple was none other than John.

Conclusion

Andrew and John were Jesus' first disciples, both following him together after the testimony of John the Baptist had identified Jesus.

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Some people say that the first disciple of Jesus was Mary. Certainly Mary would have been Jesus’ greatest admirer and the first to learn from his teachings as he matured into a wise and learned young man, but the question is asking something else. The first disciple of Jesus was Simon Peter. Of all the gospels, Luke is the only which commits to giving a chronological account of Jesus’ life, so I think that gives it a little precedence over the others in questions like these.

1 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat.4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” 5Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” 6When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, “Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!” 9For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men.” 11When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him.

John was more interested in theology than chronology. In fact, in John 3, he reports that while Jesus was baptizing with his disciples at the same time John was.

22After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. 23John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized— 24for John had not yet been thrown into prison.

But both Matthew and Mark report that John was imprisoned before Jesus called his disciples.

Mark 1 14Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” 16As He was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. 19Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. 20Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.

Notice that Peter is mentioned before Andrew. If John shows Andrew and himself to be the first followers of Jesus in his gospel, the other 3 gospels show him to be called after Peter and Andrew. John sent a lot of followers to Jesus but that didn’t mean they became his core group of disciples. What made them Jesus’ disciples is his invitation.

John 6:70 Jesus answered them, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!"

In the Luke narrative, Peter is the main protagonist and Jesus is specifically interacting with him and tells him first that he will be in the ministry of “catching men”. Jesus chose Peter first and all the others then followed him as disciples. It makes sense that Peter would be the first disciple to be called, due to his prominent role in Jesus’ ministry and thereafter in the church.

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