Disciple — Noun. A follower or teacher of Jesus Christ or doctrines.
This isn’t an exact quote from any dictionary, but it’s a paraphrased definition from several different examples. I had originally planned something else for tonight, but as I was doing my pre-write study, I noticed that the word ‘disciple’ kept coming up over and over again, and it made me wonder… Who were the disciples?
Twelve young men were told to follow Jesus, and thus became the twelve disciples. And everywhere Jesus went, they followed him. Jesus was a rabbi, and back in the day, when a rabbi told you to follow him, it was a HUGE deal. It meant that someone with authority deemed you worthy. So when a rabbi said to follow him, you didn’t hesitate. You dropped whatever you were doing and went. Of course, Jesus was the only one to ever do that. Most ‘interns,’ so to speak, had been through years and years of education, starting from a very young age. And these disciples Jesus chose didn’t have any outstanding education. Nothing out of the norm, you know. And then, here comes Jesus. “Follow me.”
For the remainder of Jesus’ physical human life, these twelve ordinary, C-student young men followed him. We all know about one or two having an occasional lapse of judgment, but we won’t get into that. I’d write another novel. But the point is, Jesus knew before he had even chosen these people what they would do, but he picked them anyway. Could he have chosen people who were as flawless as humanly possible? People who knew the Torah inside and out? Sure, but he didn’t. He chose people like you and me; average Joes.
These disciples, again, went with Jesus EVERYWHERE, unless they were sent to do his work in other places. In fact, Luke 10:1 tells us that Jesus appointed seventy other disciples to go to other places and let the people know about Jesus. The role of a disciple was to follow Jesus. So my question to you is, are you a disciple? Are you living your life with only God’s will as your intention? Are you willing to drop everything when the Rabbi says “follow me?”
One clear example of what a disciple does is actually a theme for Baptist Campus Ministries mission trips. It’s Acts 1:8, and it says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses… to the ends of the earth.” That passage says so much about what it means to be a disciple. What that passage means is that no matter where God leads you or what He asks you to do, you will do it despite any and all pain, “…to the ends of the earth.”
Are you willing to drop everything in your life when Jesus says, “Follow me,” and are you willing to follow him until the very end of the earth? Are you willing to tell others about him and serve him with your whole heart? Are you ready to be a disciple?