What? Me, a Disciple?

Knowing what disciple is is crucially important. If we profess that we are Christians, then we are also disciples. How do we know this? In Acts 11:26, it says, “The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.” As you can see, the words “disciple” and “Christian” are synonymous. The word “Christian” simply means “follower of Christ” or “little Christ.” We cannot be a Christian without being a disciple.

The Bible gives many descriptions of a disciple of Jesus. The word behind disciples is “mathetes.” It means “learner, imitator, an apprentice of a teacher.” The original disciples of Jesus were in awe and wonder of Jesus. They knew He was more than just a mere man. They left their nets, their way of life, and followed Him in trust, and they even worshiped Him in the boat when He stilled the violent storm, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God!” (Mt. 14:33)

A disciple is one who denies himself—that is, they set aside their self-gratifying nature and follow Jesus even if it means suffering. (Mt. 16:24) A disciple is one who loves Jesus more than all other relationships. (Mt. 10:37) In fact, Jesus says that we are not even worthy of Him if we put any other relationship above Him. These are difficult words to consider. Do we seek to truly know and love Jesus above all else? Paul, the apostle says, “The love of Christ compels us.” (2 Cor. 5:14) Our love for Jesus, our awe of Him, beholding and understanding His glory and wonder, propels us forward to be like Him.

Like the woman who broke open her alabaster jar of costly perfume upon Jesus’ feet, we pour out our lives in love for Him, even when we are imperfect and broken. He wants to use us in our weakness and display His glory to the world.

As we understand the depth of what Jesus has already done for us and continues to do by His abiding Spirit within us, it causes us to pour out our lives in worship and honor of Him. We shine His light to others in this world because He is worthy! He has created us for this: to worship Him and desire that others worship the same Jesus who gave His life as a costly sacrifice for us. From this, we bear His fruit. (Jn. 15) When we become His disciples, it changes the entire course of our lives. “For I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20) Why do we want to make disciples? It is not just a command! It comes from the deep outflow of joy in our lives born out of beholding and worshiping Him, our Master, Savior, Teacher, and Lord.
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Mark Anderson