We generally don’t use the word disciple outside of our Christian context, as such, it's important we base our definition on what discipleship is now on what it meant to be a disciple in biblical times. A disciple in ancient times was a learner who followed a master teacher. Learning in Jesus’ time was very relational and holistic, meaning that disciples of various teachers not only learned information but also followed their whole way of life. Discipleship referred to imitating the teacher’s life, living by their values, and reproducing their teachings, sometimes even down to gestures and movements used during teaching and preaching.
Christian discipleship then signifies developing a meaningful relationship with the master teacher that is Jesus, who is the revelation of the unseen God. It means a commitment to following a way of life that adheres to His teachings and a willingness to participate with the Holy Spirit in personal transformation as Christ’s teachings shape our worldview.
We were asked by Jesus in the small group service many of us participated in last Sunday, ‘Who do you say I am?’ What if another question was asked of us this week based on the definition of discipleship above; who would the world say that we were?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34 - 35
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