What is the difference between apostles and disciples?
In Christianity the words “apostle” and “disciple” are often interchanged, but in truth refer to different realities.
“12 apostles” is often quoted in the Bible – Mt: 10:1-7 (in this Bible passage, disciples and apostles are written – 12 disciples and 12 apostles).
“72 disciples” is also quoted in the Bible – Luke 10:1-12.
To differentiate the two:
An apostle is one who is “sent” by God to preach the Gospel to the nations. Initially, these are the 12 apostles cited in the Bible and selected by Jesus. Eventually, after Jesus died, it includes other people like St. Paul and St. Boniface, who while not directly ordered by Jesus, followed divine inspiration to spread Christianity.
The twelve apostles selected by Jesus are the following: Simon Peter, James the son Zebedee, John the brother James, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Cananaean, and Judas Iscariot.
A disciple, on the other hand, is one who is a student or pupil of Jesus Christ or Christianity. He is a person who is constantly learning what it means to be a Christian.
We can say that all apostles are disciples but not all disciples are apostles.
If I were to refer to people who closely follow and apply what I am teaching in medicine and how to live life in the context of health, I will use the word “disciples.”
Or mentees or proteges.
Mentee is a person who is advised, trained, or counseled by a mentor.
Protege is a person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person.