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Discipleship Questions - Meaning Then and Today, Being a True Disciple.

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James Rooney, All Hallows Catholic High School. 40515 February, 2000 Question Page 1) Explain the meaning of discipleship for: a) The first disciples b) Christians today 2) "It is not possible to be a true disciple of Jesus in the modern world" a) Do you agree or disagree? b) Give reasons for your answer showing that you have considered more than one point of view BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Mark's Gospel (all quotes as numbered) St Mark 2. Mark's Gospel, an Interpretation for Today Robin Cooper 3. Dimensions of Christianity Sr. Anne Burke 4. The Biographical Encyclopaedia Cambridge Press 5. Microsoft Encarta '95 CD Rom 6. Hutchinson's Encyclopaedia CD Rom 7. The Oxford Book of Quotations Oxford Press THE MEANING OF DISCIPLESHIP The First Disciples The word 'Disciple' translates into English as 'follower'. Jesus chose twelve of his closest disciples to become his 'apostles' whose job was to learn from, to imitate and to continue Christ's work after his death. Jesus chose twelve men to be his disciples to represent the twelve Tribes of Israel. These men were to become leaders of the Church the new Tribes of Israel. We know that twelve is significant because after Judas died Matthias became the twelfth apostle. The Apostles: These people had to be prepared to give up everything, including their job and family: "As soon as Jesus saw them, He called them; they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat ... ...read more.


For the rich man this price was too high and he rejected it. To get eternal life you have to do more than just want and believe. Another cost was that disciples had to accept their sufferings, "he must forget self, carry his cross and follow me" (8:34). Jesus is saying that each disciple had to put himself last and become a servant; this would bring them closer to God. To "carry his cross" was a reference by Jesus to the persecutions of Christians that were to follow soon after His death. For some other Christians to "carry his cross" did not necessarily mean death. It could mean that all they had to do was to keep the Ten Commandments and for others it could be preaching the Gospel. Today very few people are killed because of their faith but it does still happen. Christians today still have to try and imitate Jesus in every way. The reward is eternal life but for those who do not follow the teachings of Christ there will be punishment in the afterlife. The disciples also had to put up with being rebuked by their own people. Many Jews did not believe in Jesus and treated believers as outcasts. Remember that Jesus was a Jew and so were all his followers. Being cast out from the Tribes was a considerable punishment. Jesus made many other predictions about the persecutions of Christians. ...read more.


Luwum is a good example of a modern day disciple who knew that by speaking out against the regime he would be killed, but still tried to do something to help. You, of course, do not have to be killed to qualify as a disciple and the above are extreme examples of self-sacrifice for Faith illustrating that not all the conditions for discipleship have changed. There are some people today who think it is not possible to be a true disciple of Jesus as our society relies so much upon possessions and money. To give up your possessions today means that you give up all chance of progressing in our materialistic society. Jesus said "Don't take anything on your journey with you except a stick"(6:8) He is telling the Apostles that they are not allowed any comforts and that this is essential for discipleship. However, even in Jesus' lifetime, some people found it impossible to be a disciple "Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor" (10:21). This is the story of the rich young man who wanted to become Jesus' disciple but was not prepared to give up all his money and possessions. I therefore do not agree that it is not possible to be a true disciple of Jesus in the modern world. Little has changed and the requirements of discipleship are no easier or harder now than when Jesus was here. It is hard to be a true disciple but many people have achieved this over the last two thousand years. ...read more.

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