What Is A Disciple In The Bible

What is a Disciple in the Bible

The Bible is filled with many people who experienced faith and obedience to God’s word, but there are also those who are called disciples, or followers of Jesus. A disciple is someone who has made a commitment to following the teachings, words and path of Jesus. Disciples of Jesus pursue a spiritual transformation of their lives, like the living of a life according to Jesus’ wishes. Disciples of Jesus in the Bible are the core group of followers that are the focus of Jesus’ ministry and mission and they include the 12 apostles.
These loyal followers of Jesus accepted his teachings, saw and heard him preach, and bore witness to his miracles. Scholars agree that Jesus’ core group of 12 comprised of mainly fishermen and lower class citizens of that time. In today’s terms, a disciple can be compared to a student. A student knows and grows by their teacher’s words and works. In the same fashion, these minor characters of the Bible followed Jesus’ every words and step thus, becoming obedient and faithful followers.
Each disciple fulfilled a part in the Christian message as well as a revelation for the lead characters in the Bible. For instance, James and John are typically referred to as the “Sons of Thunder” due to their fiery ambitions striving for success and power. This ambition, however, is restrained by Jesus and submitted to the Father’s authority. Even when the disciples weren’t consistent, they were willing to learn and grow with the help of Jesus’ teachings.
The stories of those who chose to follow Jesus are inspiring. Despite not being considered influential figures back then, their legacy is kept alive by their stellar examples of faith and courage. Even when the authorities and society rejected Jesus as a fraud, his apostles chose to stick by his side and learn from his teachings, did not fear the consequence of their decisions and stood by Jesus no matter what. Through the dangers, understanding and blessings, the disciples faced Jesus as a leader and teacher.

The Life of a Disciple

The life of a disciple was not the easiest. It entailed living a life of poverty and following a leader who was condemned by many for his beliefs. Through it all, the pioneer followers of Jesus had the courage and conviction to stay loyal and dedicated. Even when faced with the risk of death, they remained faithful in the expectations of Jesus. The few encounters with the resistance and derision of the powerful leaders did not stop them, even if most of the time their interactions served as a test of faith to their loyalty in the face of danger.
In their journey with Jesus, the disciples also experienced miracles. They saw Jesus turn water into wine and walked on water. The Bible also pointed out that even despite witnessing the miracles, the disciples were skeptical at times. The disciples will remain an exemplary example of faith and obedience to this day.

The Legacy of the Disciples

The legacy left behind by the disciples is a powerful one. After Jesus ascended to Heaven, the disciples continued to spread Jesus’ teachings and mission. The apostles taught in the streets, in homes, and any open area where people wanted to hear about Jesus’ compassion, grace, and mercy. Some traveled even farther, taking Jesus’ teachings as far as Spain to areas where there was no awareness of the gospel. The disciples’ following of Jesus and his mission had a profound impact on the spread of Christianity in ancient and modern times.

The Challenge of Discipleship Today

Discipleship still remains a challenge to people today. Despite the Bible’s teachings and stories of courageous followers of Christ, many people are still hesitant and fearful of devoting their lives to the complete following of Jesus and his mission. The challenge of the Bible’s disciples was a tough one, yet they were able to overcome it by staying faithful to their mission and living a life dedicated to this cause alone.
Many may be challenged to do the same in modern society, though it doesn’t always consist of miracles and a physical leader. As a person, you can choose to become a follower of Jesus by following his teachings, responding to his invitation, joining a church and study the Bible. The Bible encourages believers to be devoted and committed to God, and to honor Him through obedience and faith. Through daily prayer, reading God’s Word and living your life according to Him, you can become a disciple of Jesus.

The Rewards of Discipleship

Though the process of becoming a disciple to Jesus is not an easy one, it comes with many rewards. On top of having faith, courage and obedience, disciples also receive other benefits. In the Bible, Jesus promised his disciples the Holy Spirit as his Helper. This spirit provided the disciples with guidance and strength in their mission. Also, God will reward those who remain true to Him and live a faithful life, as seen in the example of the disciples which were deeply devoted, courageous and obedient to God’s will.
The disciple’s rewards are not just found in the Bible. Disciples today can find fulfillment in living a life dedicated to God and growing in the grace of Jesus. A modern-day disciple will still have experiences like those found in the Bible. It often includes self-denial, obedience, commitment, and faith. When choosing to answer God’s call, a disciple is blessed with the unwavering grace, love, and mercy of God, and an understanding that they are part of a larger story of faith, love and redemption.

Responsibilities of a Disciple

Just as there were rewards for the disciples, there were also responsibilities. As we can see from the Bible, and from disciples today, a follower of Jesus is expected to do their best to live a life that follows his teachings. This can include responding to the Great Commission, serving God wholeheartedly, and taking important spiritual steps as a believer.
More specifically, each disciple is expected to take an active role in the Church according to their abilities. This can involve being a teacher, a leader, a counselor, a missionary and more. Each disciple is called to be an example for others by demonstrating the compassion, mercy, and love of Jesus. Most importantly, disciples must remain faithful to God in all their beliefs and practices. Each step taken by a disciple should reflect the devout obedience and dedication they have to the Christian faith.

Models of Discipleship

In the Bible, Jesus’ disciples are some of the greatest models of discipleship. Despite opinion of the public, they remained faithful and devoted to Jesus as a leader and teacher. Though the disciples faced doubts, faithlessness and fear at times, they kept a commitment to their beliefs and stuck by Jesus’ side. Despite the obstacles and opposition, their conviction and obedience made them a powerful representation of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.
Throughout history and in today’s culture, there are many stories of people living a life of devoted faith according to biblical teachings. From faithful missionaries, to devoted Church members and teachers, believers today continue to be a living example of devotion to Jesus as a leader and teacher. Each individual is equipped with the power from the Holy Spirit and the courage to uphold Christian beliefs. Models of discipleship like these will continue to be powerful inspiration for people today.

The Cost of Discipleship

The Bible is a testament to the sacrifice and commitment of these core group of Jesus’ followers. Despite the dangers of pursuing their faith and following Jesus, they continued to devote their lives to the teachings and mission of Jesus. In their journeys, they faced derision and threats of punishment and even crucifixion. The cost of discipleship was indeed difficult, but despite it, they remained faithful and continued to stay true to the cause.
Today, following Jesus comes with a cost as well. While there may be little physical danger, active disciples are called by God to continually remain devoted and obedient to his expectations. This can be a difficult task, especially when the society is averse to biblical teachings. In such times, the cost of discipleship may include of ridicule, persecution and embodiment of unpopular stances.
Just like the disciples of Jesus in the Bible, modern-day disciples must be prepared to choose God over the temptation of sin, materialism and moments of weakness. Although the cost of being a follower of Jesus can be steep, the promise held by God to those who persevere, is even greater.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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