We are going to be talking about something very very important to our Christendom; Discipleship! according to the dictionary; discipleship is the act of following a teacher, leader or a philosophy. It is the act of being a learner, admirer and a believer. It was gotten from the Latin word; “discipulus” which when translated to English means a learner or a student.
Correlating the etymological meaning of the word discipleship with the connotative theological meaning actually opens up a huge can of positive worms. All through my research; I saw a huge placement on the need for us Christians to first be discipled an then disciple others.
There’s been this erroneous school of thought that an apostle is the same as a disciple but ALAS! how wrong they have been. Notice in Luke 6:13 that from a large pool of disciples; Jesus selected 12 “apostles”. A commission follows one’s appointment as a disciple. the difference between an apostle and a disciple in plain term id that an apostle is sent to deliver those things learnt by the disciple to others. But for the avoidance of ambiguous statements; we won’t go into the make up of an apostle now.
notice from Luke 6:17 that those referred to as disciples of Jesus where those who diligently followed him; so the first mark of a disciple is “hunger”. Remember we said a disciple must be a believer…threading along this path will now bring us to what it really means to be a disciple. we’d all be gripped by fear of the big task ahead if we all literally look into Jesus’ apt description of what a Disciple is according to John 13:34-35 and when we even talk about the cost according to Luke 14:25-35 then we’d all confirm that we’ve got a big task ahead of us.
However, we have laid down principles/steps that have been outlined for us to be qualified as disciples. asides, hunger, we must also experience a wholesome transformation of practice/beliefs and adhere to the principles of our “disciplee”. So you don’t just simply accumulate information or merely change moral behaviour in regards to the teachings of Jesus BUT there must be a fundamental shift towards the ethics of Jesus Christ in every way including COMPLETE DEVOTION to God.
Now in our bid to imitate Christ; we also have to diligently follow Him and what he has said concerning the need to become disciples. note that the greater need is for us to become disciplers but we cannot achieve that if we ourselves haven’t become disciples. So what has He said/
When Jesus started out His ministry; one of the very first things He did was to instruct Andrew et al to follow him and he’d make them fishers of men…and he also ended with the command for us all to go and make men teaching them and disciplining them on what He has taught us. The great commission of Matt. 28:18-20 has led to Proselytization; which is the practice of making new disciples and it has now become an ubiquitous practice. And trust our love for following tradition; we have followed tradition and done away with the act itself. From the inception of His ministry to the end; Jesus was always concerned about the greater crowd…meaning that you have been saved to save as much as possible and one of the easier ways to achieve this is by getting people to follow you and your philosophy. Remember; Paul said “follow me as I follow Christ”…
Even when Paul was talking to Timothy in 2Tim. 2:2; he was telling Timothy to instruct these teachings into the hands of “Reliable” men; why? so that they could also teach others!!! The first thing andrew did was to tell his brother about the Messiah…seriously if you really wanna be a disciple; become a teacher; a leader; you must earnestly follow Jesus and his ways; it automatically rubs off on you.
Christianity is all about offering our lives back to God because of what God has done for us…Discipleship is all about loving God (which is the greatest commandment) and being driven by our love for Him.
You have been saved to save others…stop wasting away precious time!