In an earlier blog post, Three things that define a Jesus disciple, I mentioned that a disciple of Jesus is simply a learner. Meaning, "thought accompanied by endeavor."
A Jesus disciple can be defined as a learner of Jesus who accepts the teaching of his Master in both belief, as well as in lifestyle.
When I was in high school, I had a history teacher, who would often say, "We learn in order to put into practice what we have learned." He was right.
There was a time when the word "Christian" and the word "Disciple" were interchangeable terms. Those days are gone. Have been for quite some time.
- A Christian - many are called;
- A Disciple - few are chosen. Matthew 22:14
Many who call themselves Christians, are unwilling to comply with the conditions that Jesus set for discipleship.
What does a Jesus disciple look like? For one, the attitude and ways of a believer are the essence of true discipleship.
Here are three examples:
- Continual Commitment - This never stops. "If you continue in my word you are truly my disciples". John 8:31Notice it says, "in my word". It emphasizes the whole, tenor and substance of Jesus' teaching, from start to finish. In word and in deed.These two words give us an inward example of discipleship, illustrating how a permanent continuance in His word, and in our example for others, look like. Otherwise, our words lack reality. Matthew 15:8
- Love Commitment - John 13:34-35. These two verses give us an outward example of discipleship. They show us our relationship with others.Note that Jesus gave us a new commandment when He said, "love one another". The early church had to learn this, and so should we.A Jesus disciple is not whole if he of she only studies His commandments. He or she must be willing to obey it as well. This commitment to love is fulfilled with our actions.This love doesn't mean to ignore wrong, or to put up with evildoers. Love is how you deal with the one that is doing wrong, and how you deal with the evildoer.At the same time, we don't love because we like a person, or because we find them appealing or attractive, or family or even social ties. A Jesus disciple loves because his Master asked him to.
- The Fruit Commitment - John 15:7-8. These two verses reveal an upward example of discipleship.It is impossible to be a fruitless disciple. At the same time, if there is no real fruit in our lives, we can't claim to be a Jesus disciple.No fruit can be beared, unless, or if--. In other words, it is not automatic. Like discipleship, it is conditional. John 12:24. It takes action to be a fruit bearing Jesus disciple.A Jesus disciple's inward life is fueled by those "nine winsome graces," found in Galatians 5:22-23. They produce character, and a disciple is recognized by his or her likeness to Jesus, by his or her inward character.A disciple's service to ministry is fruit seen, when souls are won, bellies are fed, bodies are clothed or sheltered and the hurting are cared for.
Nope! Jesus never said go and make believers. He did however say, "go and make disciples". This is what discipleship looks like.