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12 Disciple-thoughts

A Disciple is a learner.

Mathetes is the greek word for disciple (from which we get 'mathematics').  It's a term for learners. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:3). 

To be a disciple is to be Jesus' family

Matthew 12:49

To be a disciple is to be included in Jesus' ministry to the world

Matthew 15:36

There are disciples of all sorts of Teachers, a disciple of Jesus must switch allegiance

John 1:37; 9:28; Acts 20:30

'Disciples' often turn back from following Jesus...

John 6:66

But true disciples abide in Jesus' word

John 8:31

We show ourselves to be disciples by loving one another

John 13:35

Discipleship is about reflecting the Lord's glory. 

2 Cor 3:18 - from the Lord outwards to the world

Evangelism makes disciples...

Matt 28:18-20 - we do not aim for converts merely but for disciples.

...and discipleship makes evangelists

The 12 disciples become 12 apostles (sent ones).  The call to Christ is the call to be a fisher of men - 'I believed therefore I spoke'.

Discipleship is not about getting people to do what they don't want to do.

Contrary to how it's often preached, the true learner is called to live out their new nature, not simply stifle their 'true desires'. 

The call to discipleship is not gradual

We think of ramping up our expectations for discipleship over time.  Jesus calls us to die from the outset  (Luke 14:27,33).  The little stuff follows


0 thoughts on “12 Disciple-thoughts

  1. Glen

    Thanks Tom, Trying not to be so negative. At least not all the time. ;-)

    But fear not. I'm sure something will raise my ire in due time!

  2. Gav

    Hey Glen

    Are you sure about the last one. I've heard stories of people's lives been transformed on the spot or a sudden moment when they convert but I actually dont know anyone who its happened to. For me it certainly wasnt, no wait, isnt the case.

    Its not like I'm saying "I'll give up murdering today and then lying tomorrow". Its more an internal thing that has been happening to me over the last few years.

  3. Glen

    Hey Gav, yeah - not saying that it *feels* easy or that we go from big breakthroughs to small ones. It's not so much about our experience as just the nature of Christ's call. His call to follow Him begins by saying 'Come and die'.

    'Take up your cross daily' means count yourself dead to the world, consider every day your last. Once you've come to Christ like that then other decisions are smaller - they still feel hard, but they're all comprehended within that initial call.

    Even if, in your experience, first you give up swearing and much later you give up your wealth, actually it all began with the big one when you gave up your life.

    And found it anew in Him.

  4. pgjackson

    I've heard it said that in culture's where there's more widespread, overt persecution of christians that the call to discipleship is slightly clearer. If becoming a christian means your family will boot you out, or your life will be in danger, then there's not going to be much sense of starting out and then gradually vamping up the commitment levels (which is how it often is here in the UK I guess).

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