A disciple is a follower of another. The heart of a disciple is that they are teachable. Therefore, they have a desire to learn and be taught as they follow the one who is teaching them.
We see that Jesus called others to follow Him and what qualified them as disciples was that they immediately abandoned everything to follow Him. Therefore, their identity went from being defined by what they used to do (fishermen, tax collectors, etc) to who they were attached to and following.
Disciples of Jesus should be known for quite a few things. Their service to others is a great place to start, along with their love for one another, as well as their enemies. The list can certainly be much longer if you categorized everything that Jesus did in his lifestyle.
However, there is really just one concept to being a disciple and that singular trait is obedience.
Simple obedience will be the engine that everything else regarded with discipleship flows from. So, as we grow in our faith in Christ, we will become more like Him. In Romans 1:5, we see that followers of Jesus are given grace which initiates or brings about obedience. Grace gives us the desire and capability to say yes to the things that Jesus calls us to be.
In Luke 16, we see Jesus state that “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” A great place to start being obedient to Jesus is by doing what you simply know to do. So as a disciple is in the Word of God for encouragement & correction, they will see and hear from Jesus through His Word. As we are faithful & obedient to do the things we know to do (Philippians 3:16), our faith will be exhibited and grown, therefore taking us to places of obedience that we have yet to attain.
The good news of discipleship is that God is always at work in the lives of His followers (Philippians 1:6). He knows where we are at in our relationship & obedience to Him and He gives us the grace necessary to enable us to be obedient in further ways.
So let’s ask ourselves a few questions…
- Are we following Jesus with joy?
- Is that joy bringing about & motivating us to obedience to the things we know?
- Are we growing in further obedience according to growing in the grace & knowledge of Christ? (2 Peter 3:18)
The mark of a disciple is obedience to the One that he or she is following.
Coming soon – How will anyone know who disciples are?