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Explain the meaning of discipleship.

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Introduction

Discipleship Part 1 A disciple is somebody who wants to learn from and follow another. In the New Testament, the word disciple was used to describe the followers of Jesus, the twelve in particular. There are still disciples in the world today who lead lives following God and spreading His word. Examples of these people who we call modern day disciples are Jean Vanier and John Paul II. In Mark's gospel, we learn that faith is an important aspect of discipleship. Faith is the belief or trust that we put into someone or something completely. We see the significance of faith in discipleship when it is referred to in the gospel. The commission 16: 14-15 tells us that when Jesus appeared to the twelve disciples once when they were eating and "...He scolded them because they did not have faith and were too stubborn to believe." This shows to us as Christians that to be a good disciple you must have faith. Another illustration of the importance of faith comes in the story of the epileptic boy 9: 23-24 where Jesus says to the boy's father "...Everything is possible for the person who has faith..." This suggests that if faith is complete in a person then they can achieve anything. Another point about discipleship that we are taught in Mark's gospel is service. This means that disciples of Jesus should give up their time to help and serve others. ...read more.

Middle

The idea of giving up friends, family and all material things needs not to be done half-heartedly for a true disciple to become. Something else we learn in Mark's gospel is that to become a great disciple you must be able to endure the suffering and rejection. In other words disciples must put up with misery and negative responses on the way. Jesus expresses this when he tells the disciples that when giving up everything for him in the rich man 10: 30-31 that they have to "...receive a hundred times more persecutions... and in the age to come will receive eternal life. But many who are now first will be last, and many who now are last will be first." This tells us that the suffering and discriminations that disciples in modern day life endure will be very beneficial when their time comes in front of God. In the Cost of Discipleship it mentions Part 2 I have chosen to talk about a modern day disciple, David Wilkerson, as I find his story moving and inspirational. David was born in the mid 1930s in Hammond, Indiana, USA. His father was a minister and he was part of a family of five. When David left school he went to Bible College for a year before becoming a member of the ministry. He was a pastor of a small church for five years before becoming a full time worker helping teenage gangs in New York try to lead a better life. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you that whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." By 'like a child' some think Jesus means with all the qualities of a Christian they posses whilst many adults don't but are still thought of Christians. Children are strong in faith and very open about their beliefs. They don't have any prejudices and are innocent, open-minded, eager to please and keen to learn. When people say that children do not have enough knowledge or understanding to be a Christian, can they really judge the young at a level so much higher than they are capable? I disagree with this statement, as I believe that children can accept the Kingdom of God much better than many adults or teenagers. When children talk about the Kingdom of God they speak with pride and content. Even if they cannot suffer or give up their family and life for God, they can still make good Christians, better than many adults. They are a credit to Christianity where as many teenagers often abandon their faith to make time for socialising and material things. Without these pressures children always seem to make the time to pray and when they do they do so whole-heartedly. They are never to busy with work and socialising or such to pray or do it properly like many adults are. I agree that they cannot achieve many of the requirements of discipleship. I do think that they can be Christians though and very good ones too. Hannah Devlin ...read more.

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