Words that Matter – Disciple
October 4, 2022
Are You a Disciple?
This episode explores a word that matters to followers of Jesus. It is the third in a series titled, “Words that Matter.” This episode focuses on the word disciple.
A disciple is a person who learns from another by instruction, whether formal or informal. The word is derived from the Greek meaning to learn or to be instructed. It means pupil or student. But that definition doesn’t do justice to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
Disciple of Jesus
To be a disciple of Jesus certainly means to be a student or pupil of Jesus. But, it also means much more. Jesus calls people to follow him. The calling leads to a life transformation, including leaving behind old ways of life. A disciple of Jesus is committed to not only knowing about Jesus but pattering their life after the ways of Jesus.
Scriptures Mentioned in the Episode
The following scriptures are mentioned in this episode on disciples. The scripture references are listed in the order mentioned.
- Matthew 10:1-4 The Call of the Disciples
- Description of the first 12 disciples’ response to Jesus: They’re afraid (Matthew 8:23ff), they fight (Mt 20:22ff), they protest the passion (Mt 16:22-23), they flee (Mt 26:55-56), and they doubt (Lk 24).
- Other disciples – The Pharisees also had disciples: Matthew 26:15-17
Luke 5:1-11 – Fishing for people
The call to discipleship is a call to partnership in service. We see it over and over again in sayings found in Matthew and John (Matthew 5:13dd, John 17:13ff), in the parables (Matthew 25:14ff), and in specific directions (Mt10:5ff). And remember the sending out of disciples two by two (Luke 10:1ff.
Look to Matthew 10 & 18. Jesus sent the disciples to replicate his ministry (10:6–8). He asked them to engage in mission without regard to reimbursement or financial security (10:9–10). Jesus asked them to become dependent on others for their daily shelter and food (10:11–16). The disciples would risk persecution and death for the opportunity to proclaim the Kingdom (10:17–23). The disciples would leave the comfort of fellowship with other disciples to seek the one disciple who wandered away (18:10–14). Jesus required His disciples to submit to a rigorous discipline of mutual accountability according to 18:15–18. Jesus expected His disciples to forgive others beyond their most extravagant vision of forgiveness (18:21–35).
Words that Matter
Before you listen, ask yourself, are you a disciple of Jesus, and what are the characteristics of disciples? The answer may surprise you.
The words in this series are words that followers of Jesus sometimes miss, mess up, misunderstand, or are essential to the life of Jesus. Each episode focuses on one word as we explore what scripture and the context of scripture have to offer.
In previous episodes, we’ve covered the words believe and evangelism.