What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? As you will discover, the answer is fairly simple, but it changes your life completely.
The word disciple refers to a student or apprentice. Disciples in Jesus’s day would follow their rabbi (which means teacher) wherever he went, learning from the rabbi’s teaching and being trained to do as the rabbi did. Basically, a disciple is a follower, but only if we take the term follower literally. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is as simple as obeying His call to follow.
When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow. They took Jesus’s call literally and began going everywhere He went and doing everything He did.
It’s impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). That’s the whole point of being a disciple of Jesus: we imitate Him, carry on His ministry, and become like Him in the process.
Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a “Christian” without being like Christ. A “follower” who doesn’t follow. How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, “Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don’t worry, I don’t actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I’m just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians.” Seriously?
No one can really believe that this is all it means to be a Christian. But then why do so many people live this way? It appears that we’ve lost sight of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The concept of being a disciple isn’t difficult to understand, but it affects everything.
Francis Chan and Mark Beuving, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples, First Edition. (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2012), 16–17.
We have just released a new Bible Study based on the theme: Discipleship and Mission
These lessons are available on Amazon, as well as a part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription Service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #1
Called to Serve
Luke 14.7 – 14
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #2
Called to Sacrifice
Mark 1:16–20; Luke 14:25–33
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #3
Called to Return
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #4
Called to Repent
Luke 19.1 – 10
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #5
Called to Follow
Matthew 4.12 – 22
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #6
Called to Mission
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #7
Called to Remember
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #8
Called to Believe the Resurrection
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #9
Called to Make Disciples
Matthew 28:16–20; Acts 1:6–8 123
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #10
Called to Righteousness
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #11
Called to Life in the Spirit
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #12
Called to Mutual Acceptance
Romans 11:11–24; 10.5 – 13
Discipleship and Mission, Lesson #13
Called to Be Transformed
Romans 12:1 – 8
Each lesson consists of 20 or so ready-to-use questions that get groups talking. Answers are provided in the form of quotes from respected authors such as John Piper, Max Lucado and Beth Moore.
These lessons will save you time as well as provide deep insights from some of the great writers and thinkers from today and generations past. I also include quotes from the same commentaries that your pastor uses in sermon preparation.
Ultimately, the goal is to create conversations that change lives.
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