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In his writings, the epistles to Christian churches throughout the Levant, Paul did not restrict the term "apostle" to the Twelve, and often refers to his mentor Barnabas as an apostle.

During the life and ministry of Jesus in the 1st century AD, the apostles were his closest followers and became the primary teachers of the gospel message of Jesus.

Considering this profession, it is plausible that Jesus had been employed to build and repair fishing vessels, thus having many opportunities to interact with and befriend such fishermen.

Albright and Mann extrapolate from Simon's and Andrew's abandonment of their nets that Matthew is emphasizing the importance of renunciation by converting to Christianity, since fishing was profitable, although required large start-up costs, and abandoning everything would have been an important sacrifice.

The three Synoptic Gospels record the circumstances in which some of the disciples were recruited, Matthew only describing the recruitment of Simon, Andrew, James, and John.

All three Synoptic Gospels state that these four were recruited fairly soon after Jesus returned from being tempted by the devil.

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