This week we will contemplate the meaning and importance of being and making disciples. It’s one of the commands of Christ.
In the original Greek, the word disciple is _mathetes_, it means a pupil or apprentice. Therefore, a disciple is simply a follower and a learner. The idea is someone who is not only learning and following but someone who wants to emulate another.
When Jesus went around and preached the Good News of the Kingdom of God, there were thousands of people that enjoyed His teaching. Many followed Him from place to place. There were scores of people who acknowledged that He spoke the truth. **Thousands followed Jesus but relatively few became disciples.**
Are you a follower of Jesus or are you a disciple of Jesus?
This is an important question to answer. A follower listens to great teaching but rarely puts that teaching into practice. A follower likes to sit and watch the miraculous but seldom prays for it. A follower is in it for the benefits, a disciple follows even when it hurts.
As disciples we are called not only to follow Jesus; we are called to become like Him. “Jesus has now many lovers of the heavenly kingdom but few bearers of His cross.”
Theologian, John Piper, once stated, “The most important word I think Jesus ever said about becoming a disciple was Luke 14:27, “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Bearing a cross does not mean primarily having hard times. It means going to Golgotha. It means dying with Christ—dying to the old attitudes of envy and strife and jealousy and anger and selfishness and pride; and turning to follow Jesus in newness of life. When we make disciples, we bid people to come and die to their old, destructive ways and to live for Jesus, who loved them and gave himself for them.”
So….in what areas of life do you tend to be a follower and which areas do you tend to be a disciple? Ask God to give you strength and grace to not just follow but to be a fully devoted disciple.