Think of the twelve disciples. Twelve very distinct personalities, from twelve very different backgrounds, and with twelve very different ideologies. Yet all were chosen by Jesus Himself. All had quite significant roles to play in God’s plan. A tax collector, a few fishermen, and even a doctor among them, the twelve lived, traveled, celebrated, and cried with the King of Kings as He ministered upon this earth.
So what about us? Are any of us disciples? Why hasn’t Jesus called us to continue the work the original twelve were charged with? Well, my friend, if you are a born again Christian, then you have indeed been called! The word disciple means one who is a follower. And we know there are lots of disciples in this world. Some follow rock bands. Many follow the desires of their hearts. And quite a few follow movie stars, and celebrities of every venue. Many simply follow the world.
The word disciple is also a verb, an action taken. To disciple means to come alongside someone and lead and guide them. That can be as a trainer in a job, teaching a child, or even as a leader of a nation. But for Christians, to disciple someone means to counsel, teach, guide, and lead a new or ‘baby’ Christian in the faith and knowledge of the Gospel of Christ, and in the application of God’s Word in their lives. They are also taught to disciple others as they grow in this faith and knowledge.
Whether one of the original twelve, or one of your own circle of Christian brothers and sisters, disciples are tenants of the faith. Faith must be learned, by hearing and reading the Word of God, the Bible. It deepens and becomes stronger as we go through trials in this life and we see what God has done once they are over. God has put us together to edify one another, to bring encouragement and fellowship within the body of Christ. And as we serve in unity, we become stronger together, able to bolster one another up in spirit, and at the same time enabling the body to share Jesus with a world that is dying and crying out for something they can’t see. It is the disciple who introduces Jesus to this world, shares His message, and in the process glorifies the God of the Ages, and His perfect plan of salvation and grace.
Disciples bring Jesus, Our Hope, to those who don’t know Him. If you would like to know more, talk to your pastor, Sunday school teacher, or a Christian friend, about how you can become a true disciple, and how you can disciple others for the cause of Christ.
‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20 (NIV).
Someone recently asked me what the difference between an apostle and a disciple. Visit BibleAbout.org to see the excellent answer.