The definition of a disciple is a student, apprentice and learner. Disciple is synonymous with the word follower, which corresponds to both belief and practice. In Luke 14:25-33 Jesus tells those listening (and we who are reading) that to be His disciple we are to count the cost of following Him, deny all that we have including our own lives, take up our cross and follow Him.
We have all heard about the 10 commandments, but do you know the two greatest commandments given to followers of Jesus?
This is the core of being a disciple of Jesus, where following Him is an act of love. When we repent of our sin and believe in Jesus, we are given a new heart with the desire to obey God and to be pleasing in His sight. This love is shown to Him through a sincere heart and keeping His commands. The second aspect is loving our neighbor, which means learning how to defer and show kindness. As disciples we are empowered to do works of the Kingdom like serving people, caring for those less fortunate, giving and allowing God to move through us through prophecy, healing and miracles.
Being a disciple is not just a personal thing between each one of us and the Creator. Jesus gives us more specific instruction in what has become known as the Great Commission. This happened after Jesus was raised from the dead and the last thing he told his disciples before He ascended into heaven.
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18–20)
Here is the command Jesus gave: To make disciples. This command was not just for the 12 apostles or for those who saw Him ascend into heaven. It is not just a command given to missionaries and pastors. It is a command that is given to every person that calls Jesus their Lord.
Have we lost sight of what this word means in the Church? Are you following Jesus’ command to be a disciple that makes disciples? Am I following the same command?
In coming blog posts we will be unpacking some of the truths and applications from the Bible on discipleship in our everyday lives.