A disciple is someone called and willing to follow the teaching of Jesus. Of course people can be disciples of any teacher, but Christians have made a choice to believe that Jesus is the only person who has ever walked this earth teaching nothing but absolute truth.
His disciples desire to live in accordance with His teaching and example, and so discover more and more truth about themselves and God. They believe that following Jesus is the way to abundant life now, as well as in eternity.
They believe Jesus is the only way to really know God, and that He alone has saved mankind from the effects of sin, by His death on the cross.
Jesus initially called twelve disciples to follow Him, and He gave them instructions to proclaim the kingdom of God and heal diseases, by His authority and power. He then appointed seventy others to do the same.
Finally, as He was about to return to His Father, Jesus instructed the first disciples to continue to making more disciples, who in turn would make others. These would all continue doing the same work until the time of His return in the last days.
‘Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptise them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matthew 28:19-20).
True disciples of Jesus will be recognised, primarily, not by their powerful ministry, nor by their eloquent words, nor by their place in the Church. They’ll be recognised by how they demonstrate the gracious, loving character of Jesus through the presence of the Holy Spirit, in ways that surprise and challenge the world around them.
Prayer: Father, I’m open for You to continue to change me, so it’s clear to those around me that I must be a disciple of Jesus. Amen.
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