Friends of Jesus
Before Jesus was born, a prophet called John came along and started telling people that God was going to do something special and send someone who would tell them all about him. He said that they needed to be ready to meet this person, and to show that they were ready, and willing, to do what God said.
John became known as John the Baptist, because he baptised people in the river Jordan. This means that he asked them to say "sorry" to God for all the bad things they had done. Then he lowered them into the water, and brought them back out again. This was symbolic; it was to show people that when they said "sorry" to God, he forgave them and made them clean from all the things they had done just like when we have a bath, or a wash, to get clean.
The next story on this site is about John.
When Jesus was about 30, he left his work as a carpenter and started to walk around the country, telling people about God and showing them that God cared about them.
He did lots of amazing things; he talked to people, made them better and told some great stories, an taught them about love, forgiveness and hope. He taught people about God, and told them that he was a loving Father; someone they could get to know, and would listen to their prayers. This was different from what the religious leaders had said about God; they made people believe that God just wanted them to keep lots of rules, and would get cross if they didn't. So some people loved the things that Jesus was teaching, and some didn't.
Now Jesus knew that he wasn't going to stay with them for ever - and he needed people that he could trust to pass on his message after he had died. So he chose 12 men; their names were:
Andrew } He was Simon's brother
Simon } His name was later changed to Peter.
James } They were brothers and they were given a nickname, which was "sons
John } of thunder". Their father was called Zebedee.
Simon - who is described as a zealot
Matthew, who was also called "Levi".
James - who was the son of Alphaeus.
Judas - whose surname was Iscariot, and who betrayed Jesus.
There were many other people who loved, and followed, Jesus, but these 12 were his closest friends.
In the next few pages, some of the animals are going to tell you more about them.
Did you know that you can also be a friend of Jesus?