Jesus had been baptized, anointed by the Holy Spirit. He had gained victory over the tempter in the wilderness. Entering into His ministry He was intentional in choosing His disciples. The invitation was given, "follow me", to one after another. (Matthew 4:19, 9:9, 16:24) Anyone could identify His disciples. They were that special circle of men who accompanied Him, working with Him wherever He went.
As Jesus' three and a half year ministry was drawing to a close, He endeavored to prepare the disciples for the future in order for them to best carry on the work of spreading the gospel after His departure.