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Explain the meaning of discipleship.

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Introduction

Discipleship and The meaning of disciple according to most dictionaries means 'follower', but some historians claim it means 'one who learns'. Throughout the twelve's discipleship following Jesus they were constantly learning and developing as people. They went through trials and tribulations, and their faith grew as well as flourished from the moment when the where first chosen to after Jesus was resurrected. Jesus called his first disciples "'come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him." This passage shows both the power of Jesus and the faith the men had in him. The two disciples went away from their nets immediately at Jesus' words. The act was incredibly strong, as they were leaving behind their livelihood to follow this man. This shows us that from the very beginning the disciples were prepared to give up everything to follow Jesus. ...read more.

Middle

By going out with only the bare necessities, they would be more understanding of people in others situations, and have a better appreciation of the small things in life. Jesus shows to the twelve the cost of discipleship. (Mark 8:34-28) "If anyone would come after me he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." These lines are one of the central themes to discipleship. Although, "Deny himself" must not be confused with denying our personhood or harming ourselves with extreme deprivation. Instead, here Jesus explains that for you to be a follower you must stop being egocentric and be altruistic. The disciples need to remove themselves as their central thoughts and start thinking of what they can do to help other people. (Although in slight contrast, sum fundamentalist interpret the text to mean we deny the fact that we own ourselves, and must submit to the authority of God and here Jesus.) ...read more.

Conclusion

But many who are first will be last, and the last first." Jesus made sure the twelve realised that being a disciple did not come without the burden of the cross, but he also enlightened them into the glorious rewards. He states that for those who do the good work, they will receive their rewards both now and later. By rewards Jesus could be referring to anything, I personally believe that the part of the rewards is the self satisfaction of doing good deeds and the chance to grow spiritually that they were given. In addition to telling the disciples to be altruistic and that those who give up all they have for the church will be rewarded he showed them an example. (Mark 12:43-44) "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything- The all she had to live on." The 'poor widow' gave up all she had for the church. She was both being selfless and helping God's church. ...read more.

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