“I don’t really know what discipleship is.” I have often heard Christian college students make that comment. It seems as if many Christians have lost “discipleship” from their vocabulary. Yet Jesus charged us to make “disciples.” In order to make disciples, I must first be a disciple. So, what is a disciple? The term “disciple” literally means student or learner. Jesus, however, used the term “disciple” almost exclusively in the context of following him. His favorite sermon seems to have been only two words: Follow me. More important than our opinion of what it means to be a disciple is how Jesus defined discipleship. We want to encourage you to seek Jesus’ definition of discipleship in the pages of the New Testament and to begin your journey of following him.
The following thoughts and passages may be a good place to start:
Discipleship (to Jesus)—n. 1. following Jesus no matter where it takes you and what it costs you (Luke 14:25-33); 2. a deepening relationship with Christ (John 15:1-5); 3. being sold out to Jesus (Matthew 13:44); 4. being shaped into Christlikeness (Romans 8:29, 12:2); 5. learning and obeying all that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:18-20); 6. living under the authority and lordship of Jesus (Matthew 8:18-22); 7. allegiance to Jesus (Luke 9:60-62) ; 8. knowing and following Jesus (John 10:27); 9. following-becoming-fishing (Mark 1:17); 10. denying self, taking up one’s cross, and following Jesus (Luke 9:23); 11. reaching and teaching others for Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20); 12. the process of becoming a disciple and learning to make disciples (Mark 1:17, Matthew 28:18-20) 13. loving God with all of our being and loving others as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40); 14. worship with our lives (Romans 12:1)