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Explain the meaning of discipleship for:a) The first Disciplesb) Christians to day

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Introduction

Explain the meaning of discipleship for: a) The first Disciples b) Christians to day A) The word disciple comes from the Latin word discipulus, which means learner. Disciple also means follower. The first disciples were chosen to follow Jesus and to learn from him. The original disciples were the twelve apostles or messengers. They represent the twelve tribes of Israel who were chosen to go out into the New Israel and preach the Good news. These men were from ordinary ways of life and not from any particular religious background, such as priests. For instance one was a fisherman, one a tax collector and another a zealot. All followed Jesus without question leaving their jobs and their families to go with him and spread his work. "Come with me and I will teach you to catch men" Mark 1:17. Jesus taught them they were expected to do God's will and their role was unimportant as long as they spread the Word. They had endure great hardship to follow the path they were chosen for. In many cases families were split as many could not understand their beliefs and a great deal of self-sacrifice was necessary, especially as they were treading new ground. ...read more.

Middle

They were not super-human and their faith was always being tested. The lesson shown here was that if Jesus choose men with failings then their was hope and forgiveness available for all and gave the disciples the common touch that their followers could understand giving encouragement to the Church that followed them. The job of the first disciples was to spread Jesus' words and to set up the first Church regardless of personal cost. They needed to have faith, humility, love for children, fidelity in marriage and they must receive the Kingdom of God like a child. These were the same then as they are now but in to day's society many interpretations are brought to bear and the earliest disciples had a simpler path to follow not only did they have first hand knowledge of Jesus but a far less complicated path to follow. For instance the question of fidelity was a much clearer issue then. The early disciples set an example of what was expected of discipleship in the centuries to come and their main purpose was to spread the word of God. B) The meaning of discipleship today is very much the same as in Jesus' day. Battling against injustice, sickness, homeless and the sick. A disciple today is expected to follow Jesus' example. ...read more.

Conclusion

Taking food, medicine and education to those who desperately need it. In many cases this can cause great hardship sometimes even death. For instance the Roman Catholic nuns and priests in El Salvador who are seen as a threat to the government and are killed for their beliefs, but these beliefs are so strong that it does not deter others from following on as they believe those they are helping have the greatest need. Truly following Jesus' example. Even today many still believe that they must denounce all their worldly goods and trust in God and the nuns and priests mentioned above are a good example of this. "it is much harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle" Mark 10:17 -31. This is an important teaching for modern disciples as many believe that this is inspiration for working with the poorest of the poor and living lives of poverty. Discipleship in today's society may have many different pressures but basically the goals are very much the same. It is not an easy route to take and means much self-sacrifice, hardship, suffering and even rejection. Those who embark on this route are truly followers of the Jesus and his twelve Apostles. ?? ?? ?? ?? RE Coursework, Spring 2001 Discipleship Part I Michael Llewellyn, 4C Page 1 of 2 ...read more.

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