In the New Testament, the word Christian appears only 3 times, compared to nearly 270 times for the word disciple!
Today, we hear this word a lot, but basically, what is a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Become a disciple
A disciple is one who follows Jesus.
At the beginning of his ministry, when Jesus calls his first disciples, he says to them: “Follow me…” ( Mt 4:19 ). That’s what a disciple is: someone who follows his master.
But following Jesus has a cost: to follow him, you have to give up everything else. Those who follow Jesus must first die to themselves ( Mt 16:24 ). But as Jim Elliot, a missionary killed by the people to whom he preached the gospel, said, “He is not crazy who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. »
And you, are you for Jesus?
Are you ready to lose everything to gain what only Jesus can give you?
You can count on the grace of God, it is what saves you.
Living as a disciple
A disciple is one who imitates Jesus.
A disciple of Jesus Christ does not just listen to what the master says, he obeys him. You surely know the parable of the two builders ( Mt 7.24-27 ): the fool builds his house on sand and the wise on rock. Do you know the difference between the two? Both listen to the words of Jesus, but the fool does not put them into practice, while the wise obeys him.
It is not those who speak of Jesus who truly know him, but those who obey him ( Mt 7:21 ).
God wants us to be like Jesus ( Rom 8.29 ; 2 Cor 3.18 ). And to be like him, we must imitate him. The more you know Jesus, the more you know his character, his love and his grace, but also his radicalism with sin, the more you will know how you should be.
Of course, sometimes we fail. But we have two reasons to console ourselves:
Even though God asks us to obey him, he loves us despite our disobedience.
If God asks us to obey him, it is because he makes us capable of it, through his Spirit who dwells in us.
And you, do you obey Jesus?
Or do you just listen to it?
You can count on God’s grace, it is what makes you capable of obeying him.
A disciple is one who makes disciples.
Above, I cut the verse in the middle; when Jesus called his disciples to follow him, he made them a promise:
“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”.
It’s the first thing he says to them. And the last words of Jesus are also important:
“All power has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the world” ( Mt 28:18-20 ).
Making disciples starts with sharing the good news of the gospel. But often, we imagine that it stops there! But Jesus asked us to make disciples, to teach them to obey (which is what a disciple does), which also includes… making disciples. To make disciples is to obey the words of Jesus.
But how to do it ? Start with prayer. Ask God to show you who you could share the gospel with (call to discipleship); who you could help grow (discipleship), perhaps by doing a growth group? Also consider who in your church can help train you to make disciples. Making disciples is a project of each person, but also of the Church.
And you, do you make disciples?
You can count on the power and the presence of Jesus, it is he who enables you to multiply.