Whenever we read the word disciples in the Gospel stories we automatically think of the 12 disciples. But it wasn’t until the summer of 31AD or 18 months into Jesus ministry that he actually choose the 12.
Prior to this whenever we read the word ‘disciples’ there may have been 100’s of people or as few as a handful of people. However after the 12 were formed it appears that he spent more time with them and less with the crowds.
Luke takes care to mention here that there were also some special female disciples who weren’t included in the 12 but took a special place in Jesus’ ministry. From this point on it seems that not everyone was allowed to follow him everywhere and it is interesting to note his inner circle includes Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna.
After this Jesus began travelling around the nearby towns and villages, preaching the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been delivered from evil spirits and healed of various diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had expelled seven demons; Joanna (Yochanna), Susanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; and many others who were helping support the work of the ministry from their own resources. TJB 10:61